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ARCHAOLOGISCHE BERICHTE 
AUS DEM YEMEN 



BAND X 



ARCHAOLOGISCHE BERICHTE AUS DEM YEMEN 

BAND X 



Rencontres Sabeennes 6 

The Periodisation and Chronological Terminology of Ancient Yemen 




22. 25. Mai :ii"l 

Drills! Ins \nh;li>li>i!lsrliis Inslilul 
Kililll- Alilcilunt 





n n o ■•* rt'rt'rt'rt'rt'rt' 



DEUTSCHES ARCHAOLOGISCHES INSTITUT SAN'A' 



archAologische berichte 
aus dem yemen 



BAND X 

2005 




VERLAG PHILIPP VON ZABERN • MAINZ AM RHEIN 



X, 197 Seiten mit 85 Abbildungen und Tabellen, 10 Tafeln mit 73 Abbildungen 



Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Bibliothek 

Die Deutsche Bibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation 

in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten 

sind im Internet fiber <http://dnb.ddb.de> abrufbar. 



ISSN 0722-9844 
ISBN 3-8053-3361-7 

© Deutschcs Archaologisches Institut San'a' 2005 

Druck und Vertrieb: Verlag by Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 

Printed in Germany 

Printed on fade resistant and archival quality paper (PH 7 neutral) • tcf 



UNIVERSITY 

OF 

PENNSYLVANIA 

UBRABIE8 



Alexander Sima 
zum Gedenken 



^ns&fr 



INHALT 



Ueli Brunner 

Serguei A. Frantsouzoff 

IwONA GAJDA 

Iris Gerlach 

HOLGER HlTGEN 

Sarah Japp 
Edward J. Keaix 

Alessandro de Maigret 
norbert nebes 
Jan Retso 
Christian Julien Robin 

Nicole R6ring 
Alexander Sedov . 

Alexander Sima 

Peter Stein 
Paul Ytile 



Vorwort DC 

The Geography and Economy of the Sabaean Homeland 1 

The Chronological Frame for the History of Raybun (Inland Hadra- 
mawt): Linguistic and Palaeographic Criteria 9 

The Earliest Monotheistic South Arabian Inscription 21 

What is Sabaean Art? Problems in Distinguishing Ancient South 
Arabian Art Using Saba and Qataban as Examples 31 

»The Age of The Fighting Kingdoms« in South Arabia (1. Century 
B.C. -3. Century A.D.). Aspects of the Material Culture in a Period 
of Change 45 

Selected Pottery from the Cemetery of the Awam Temple in Marib - 
Observations on Chronology and Provenience 69 

Placing Al-Midamman in Time. The Work of the Canadian Archaeo- 
logical Mission on the Tihama Coast, from the Neolithic to the 
Bronze Age 87 

Some Reflections on the South Arabian Bayt 101 

Zur Chronologie der Inschriften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel Ill 

Arabs in Pre-Islamic South Arabia 127 

Himyar au IV siecle de Fere Chretienne. Analyse des donnees 
chronologiques et essai de mise en ordre 133 

The Facade of Monumental Tombs and Temples in Comparison . 153 

Hadramawt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology 161 

Juden und al-'Uzza-Verehrer: Neue Lesung zweier altsiidarabischer 
Graffiti aus Saudi-Arabien 175 

Linguistic Contributions to Sabaean Chronology 179 

Toward a Reconstruction of Ancient Zafar 191 



VORWORT 



Der vorliegende 10. Band der Reihe »Archaologi- 
sche Berichte aus dem Yemen« beinhaltet die Ver- 
offentlichung der Beitrage der 6. Rencontres 
Sabeennes, die vom 22.-25. Mai 2001 in Berlin von 
der Orient-Abteilung des Deutschen Archaologi- 
schen Institute ausgerichtet wurden. Die Ren- 
contres Sabeennes sind in der Regel jahrlich an 
wechselnden Veranstaltungsorten stattfindende in- 
ternationale Fachtagungen zur Archaologie und 
Epigraphik Sudarabiens. Den jeweiligen Veranstal- 
tern ist es dabei freigestellt, fur den Kongrefi ein 
Hauptthema festzulegen, um bestimmte Aspekte 
der siidarabischen Kulturgeschichte intensiv zu 
behandeln. Neben der Beschaftigung mit einer 
vorgegebenen Thematik bieten die Rencontres 
Sabeennes die Gelegenheit, neue Ergebnisse von 
Ausgrabungen oder epigraphischen Forschungen 
vorzustellen und mit anderen Fachkollegen zu dis- 
kutieren. 

Auf grund des gerade in den letzten Jahren rasch 
voranschreitenden Forschungsstandes in der siid- 
arabischen Altertumskunde erschien es an der Zeit, 
die Problematik der Festlegung einzelner Perioden 
und ihre Benennung auf internationaler Ebene 
zu thematisieren und hierbei Ergebnisse eigener 
Forschungen einzubringen. Gerade im Bereich der 
historischen Zeit, d.h. dem 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr. 
bis zum Beginn des Islam, gibt es vor allem in der 
Archaologie Sudarabiens im Gegensatz zur Epi- 
graphik immer noch unterschiedliche Terminolo- 
gien fur zeitgleiche Perioden oder Kulturen. Fur 
die 6. Rencontres wurde daher der Titel »The 
Periodisation and Chronological Terminology of 
Ancient Yemen« gewahlt. Gegenstand des Kon- 
gresses war nicht, eine rein theoretische Betrach- 
tung der gangigen Bezeichnungen der siidarabi- 
scher Kulturen und Zeitstufen, sondern die aus 
eigenen Forschungen resultierenden Erkenntnisse 
zu diesem Thema zusammenzutragen. Dabei gait 
es nicht, endgiiltige Losungen und Antworten zu 
finden. Diskussionsgrundlage bildeten vor allem 



die Chronologietabellen des Katalogs zur Jemen- 
ausstellung von Paris fur die historischen Zeiten 
und des Wiener Katalogs fur die prahistorischen 
Zeiten. 

Die Resonanz auf die Ankiindigung dieser 
Fachtagung war iiberraschend grofi und bestitigte, 
dafi die angesprochene Thematik zu den wichtigen 
und bisher nur wenig diskutierten Fragestellungen 
der Kulturgeschichte Sudarabiens zahlt. Insgesamt 
nahmen 33 Kolleginnen und Kollegen aus Eng- 
land, Frankreich, Italien, dem Jemen, Kanada, 
Rutland, Schweden, der Schweiz und Deutschland 
teil. Die Mehrzahl der Kongrefiteilnehmer fiihrt 
eigene Forschungsprojekte im Jemen durch und 
konnte so aktuelle Ergebnisse zum Thema vorstel- 
len, von denen die meisten in diesem Band publi- 
ziert sind. 

Dank gilt dem damaligen Prasidenten des Deut- 
schen Archaologischen Instituts, Herrn Prof. Dr. 
Helmut Kyrieleis, der das Zustandekommen der 
Veranstaltung durch eine grofiziigige Finanzierung 
ermoglichte. Fiir den reibungslosen Ablauf der 
Tagung sorgten dankenswerterweise verschiedene 
Mitarbeiter der Orient-Abteilung, insbesondere 
Frau Dr. Jutta Haser, sowie mehrere Studentinnen 
und Studenten der Vorderasiatischen Archaologie. 
Ihnen alien gebuhrt unser Dank fiir die gute Zu- 
sammenarbeit. Die Redaktion der Beitrage lag wie- 
der in den Handen von Frau Stefanie Bahe, die die 
Manuskripte und Abbildungen fiir den Druck vor- 
bereitete und auch das Layout erstellte. Ihr sei an 
dieser Stelle ein besonderer Dank ausgesprochen. 
Frau Anne Multhoff hat zusammen mit Herrn 
Prof. Dr. Norbert Nebes (beide Jena) dankens- 
werterweise die arabischen Transkriptionen in den 
einzelnen Beitragen uberpriift. Was die Umschrift 
arabischer Worter, Begriffe, Ortsnamen etc. an- 
geht, so wurde diese in der jeweils vom Autor ver- 
wandten Konvention beibehalten und innerhalb 
dieser lediglich Unstimmigkeiten vorsichtig berei- 
nigt. Den Druck iibernahm der Verlag Philipp von 



X 



Zabern. Grofier Dank gilt nicht zuletzt den zahl- 
reichen Autoren und Referenten, die aus den 
6. Rencontres Sabennes in Berlin eine lebendige 
Veranstaltung mit anregenden Beitragen und Dis- 
kussionen gemacht haben. Der vorliegende Kon- 
grefiband mag dies dokumentieren. 

Wihrend der Drucklegung des Bandes verstarb 
am 3. September 2004 bei einem tragischen 
Autounfall in der jemenitischen Provinz al-Mahra 



Alexander Sima im Alter von nur 34 Jahren. Die 
deutschsprachige Siidarabienforschung verlor da- 
mit einen ihrer hervorragendsten NacWuchs- 
gelehrten, der sich durch seine umfassenden 
Fachkenntnisse, vielfaltigen Interessen und auch 
durch den engen Bezug seiner epigraphischen 
Arbeiten zur Archaologie auszeichnete. Alexander 
Sima wird uns als liebenswerter Kollege und 
Freund in Erinnerung bleiben. 



Berlin - Sanaa, im Oktober 2004 
Iris Gerlach 



Veil Brunner 

THE GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMY OF THE 
SABAEAN HOMELAND 



Geographical Setting 

In this article the homeland of the Sabaeans means 
the region in the eastern margin of the Yemeni 
mountains, comprising the oasis of Marib, the area 
of Sirwah and the lower course of Wadi Raghwan 
(Fig. 1). These three parts do not form a geographi- 
cal unit at all. Each area is a world in itself. Marib is 
located at the border of the large Wadi Dhana, not 
even ten kilometers away from the Jibal Balaq. To 
the northwest it is separated from the Wadi Ragh- 
wan by a barren volcanic area. The once fertile 
oasis of Wadi Raghwan widens about 30 km away 
from the mountains in the middle of the desert 
plain. The two wadis run parallel to each other and, 
being valleys, they both form landscapes domi- 
nated by linear structures. The area of Sirwah is to- 
tally different. It is separated from both oases by a 
mountain ridge. So well hidden from the Ramlat 
as-Sab'atayn it forms a basin with a diameter of 
about 10 km in the mountains. Thus it is a land- 
scape with mostly circular structures. 

The ancient capital Maryab lies at 15°26' north 
and 45 "20' east. The low latitude of a mere 15° 
clearly indicates its position within the tropical 
zone. In Africa the Sabaean homeland would fit 
into the subsaharian semiarid belt of the Sahel. It 
takes exactly the same position in Southern Arabia. 
It is located at the southern border of the Arabian 
desert, thus profiting from the monsoonal rains in 
the Yemeni mountains in our summertime. There- 
fore the periodical water in the Wadi Dhana and 
Raghwan are the source of life in the oases of 
Marib and Raghwan. The area of Sirwah depends 
more on scarce local rainfall. The Sabaean home- 
land is richly structured. This is the result of a 
long and interesting geological history, which 



makes it worthwile to have a closer look at the 
geology. 

Geology 

The geology is closely related to plate tectonics in 
connection with the building of the Red Sea. In 
Mesozoic times Africa and Arabia still formed an 
entire continent, built up by the Precambrian base- 
ment and consisting mostly of gneiss, schist and 
granite. This continent was flooded by the sea and, 
due to varying depths of water, many different 
sediments accumulated such as limestone, sand- 
stone, gypsum or salt. By the end of the Mesozoic 
Age the continent was rising above sealevel and at 
the place where later on the Red Sea would estab- 
lish, it lifted up to a high plateau of three to four 
thousand metres. This uplifting was accompagnied 
by faults, so Tertiary volcanism accured, covering 
the sediments with immense layers of tuffs and 
basalts 1 . 

Marib lay at the edge of this rise. So only little 
Tertiary volcanism ocurred around Sirwah and the 
raising of the basement was less, about 1 500 m. 
Therefore the sediments built up the surface but 
they started to be eroded. Only in Quaternary 
times did strong basic volcanic activity occur, re- 
sulting in vast dark lava flows covering a large area 
between Sirwah and Marib. It changed the land- 
scape of Marib significantly. One large lava stream 
is the reason for the strange S-shaped course of the 
Wadi Dhana when leaving the gorge of the Jibal 



Sources of illustrations: Fig. 1: MOMS 8-2-1984. - Fig. 2. 3: 
Author. 

1 U. Brunner, Jemen. Vom weihrauch zum Erdol (1999) 10. 



Ueli Brunnek 



VVadi Dhana 



' 




Fig. 1 Satellite image of the Sabaean homeland with the centres of settlement (MOMS 8-2-1984) 



Balaq, and the city of Marib seems to be founded 
on a volcanic cone in the middle of the plain 2 
although in a geologic profile of WRAY 3 it doesn't 
show up. Water and wind added the youngest geo- 
logic elements to the landscape of three areas; sand 
dunes and fertile gravel fans (Fig. 2). To sum up it 
can be said that the homeland of the Sabaeans has 
a wide variety of different rocks. 

The wide use of different stones for building 
purposes was the subject of a paper by the author*. 
As stated there, it is an accidental concurrence of 
the age of the stones and the age of their use. 
In early Sabaean times, mostly the Precambrian 
gneisses and schists of the basement were used. In 
classical times the Mesozoic limestone was the pre- 
ferred material to build temples, palaces and irri- 
gation structures, and oriental alabaster, a calcite 



variety, was used for decorations and figures. In the 
late South Arabian period. Quaternary volcanic 
material was in use and finally in Islamic times silt 
served to errect houses and walls. Especially the 
limestone buildings and the decoration plates and 
figures of alabaster, often inscribed with dedica- 
tions, have become a symbol for the excellent ma- 
sonry of the Sabaeans. Limestone established itself 
as the only stone worth building temples of all 

1 W. Wagner. Bodenkundliche Untersuchungcn in der Oue 
Mirib, ABADY 6 (1993) 30. 

1 Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources 6c TNO, Institute of 
Applied Geoscience. Sana'a and Delft (ed.), Water Re- 
sources Wadi Adhanah and Marib Area. Report WRAY 15 
(1990) 66. 

4 U. Brunner, Baustcine der Sabaer, Miinchner Beitrage zur 
Volkerkunde 2 (1989) 27-42. 



The Geography and Economy of the Sabaean Homeland 



Jabal Balaq 




Okm 



50 km 



1 Precambrian: gneiss, granite, schists 

J Jurassic; Amran Series: limestone 

I Jurassic; Alif formation: sandstone, shale 

Safir formation: evaporite, shale, sandstone 
J Cretaceous; Azal formation: shale, limestone 



c 



Cretaceous: sandstone, shale 
Quaternary: basalt 
Quaternary; alluvium: gravel, silt, 
dunes 



Fig. 2 Geologic profile through the Marib region 



over Southern Arabia, even in regions like Wadi 
Markha where there are no Mesozoic sediments. 
There it had to be brought from far away. 

The Sabaeans also profited from the salt domes 
in the east, where in Safira salt was already exploited 
in ancient times. But the active tectonic movements 
proved to be a danger too. At least in the Yemeni 
mountains volcanism occured till historic times, as 
the example of al-Huqqa shows 5 . The other un- 
conformity may have been earthquakes, as they are 
quite common in connection with graben building. 
The peripheral location of the Marib region indi- 
cates that disastrous events will not have occured 
often. Earthquakes caused damage to buildings but 
it is unlikely that they influenced the path of his- 
tory as is proposed for the decline of the Qataba- 
nian kingdom in neighbouring Wadi Bayhan 6 . 

Climate 

In order to understand the climate of the Marib re- 
gion we have to know about the low latitude, the 
high elevation of 1 200 m above sea level, and the 
mountain barrier against the Indian Ocean to the 
south and against the Red Sea to the west. The 
result of these factors is a permanently dry and 
strong continental climate with surprisingly high 
temperature changes within a year and also between 
day and night (Fig. 3). In November to January 
even surface frosts may occur. This is due to a very 
low air humidity during this season. In our sum- 




JFMAMJJASOND 

Fig. 3 Marib: Diagramm with precipitation and tem- 
perature (mean monthly, average maximum and average 
minimum) 1985-88 

mer months the humidity soaks up to 70% which, 
together with 40° C during the day and still 25° C 
during the night makes the people feel uncomfort- 
able 7 . 



C, Rathjens - H. von Wissmann, Vorislamischc Alterlumer. 
Rathjens - v. Wissmannsche Sudarabien-Reise II. Ahhand- 
lungen aus dem Gebiet der Auslandskunde 38, Reihe B. 
Volkerkunde, Kulturgeschichte und Sprachen 19 (1932) 8. 
1 B. Marcolongo - D. M. Bonacossi, L'abandon du systeme 
d'irrigation qatabanite dans la vallee du wadi Bayhan 
(Yemen): Analyse geo-archeologique. Sciences de la terre 
et des planetes (1997) 85. 
WRAY 15 op cic. 35. 



Ueu Brunner 



The main feature of the climate doesn't seem to 
have changed perceivably since the South Arabian 
period. But what has changed significantly since 
irrigation on the oases has been permanent and the 
construction of the new dam in 1986, is the air 
humidity. A third of the water in the reservoir 
evaporates and therefore augments the vapour in 
the air. As a consequence the amount of precipita- 
tion has risen to a level where it has become a 
threat to the foundations of heavy structures like 
e.g. the pillars of the Bar'an temple. 

The fertility of the oasis of Marib depends en- 
tirely on the two rainy seasons in the Yemeni 
mountains to the west. In normal years rain starts 
in April, June is mostly dry and in July and August 
most of the precipitation is measured. The runoff 
leads to flash floods in the wadi, called sayl 
(singular) or suyiil (plural). These suyul do not 
only bring surface water to the region, they also 
recharge the rich aquifer in the Quaternary gravel 
fan of the Wadi Dhana. These two luxurious water 
resources were the strongest backbone of the 
Sabaean economy but only because the Sabaeans 
developed an irrigated agriculture which was 
well adapted to these special hydrological condi- 



The Sabaean Floodwater Irrigation 

The Great Dam of Marib is the symbol of the 
almost perfect water use of the Sabaeans. But the 
Great Dam is also the most misleading structure 
concerning the irrigation technique. It may lead to 
the conclusion, that it served for the storage of 
water and therefore that the Sabaeans irrigated per- 
manently. But this was not the case. In a time 
span of millenia the people in Southern Arabia 
developed a technique which is called » Yemeni 
floodwater irrigation* 8 to handle the unpredictable 
suyiil for irrigation purposes. The method can be 
characterized briefly in the following way: A part 
of the sayl is directed from the wadi by an earthen 
deflector dam into a large canal. The water is dis- 
tributed to the fields immediately. These fields are 
large, about one hectare, and they are bordered 
with broad mud walls. The fields are flooded only 
once, but therefore with large quantities of water. 
Surplus water is given back to the wadi. 

The Yemeni floodwater irrigation is a real sus- 
tainable system for the following reasons: 



- No salting: The large amount of water leaches 
the salt of the previous vegetation period. 

- Easy handling: The height of the deflector dam 
as well as the overflow in the field wall deter- 
mine the water quantity. 

- Permanent fertility: The immediate usage of the 
water guarantees the accumulation of fertile silt 
on the fields. 

- No water based diseases: In the dry season the 
wadi as well as all fields dry out, so the agents 
of malaria and bilharzia are killed. 

- Economically affordable: The construction of 
the deflector dam, the digging of the canals 
and the erection of the field walls is labour inten- 
sive but not a difficult task. The investment is 
returned by a high yield. 

- Adaptable to social conditions: The system 
works well on a small scale in a tiny wadi with 
a small community but it is also suitable in a 
large wadi with a large centralized organisation. 

This last point brings us back to the Sabaean home- 
land. What was the speciality of the Sabaean sys- 
tem? First of all it has to be stressed that it 
functioned basically in the same manner as every 
Yemeni floodwater irrigation. The speciality was 
the Great Dam which closed the entire Wadi 
Dhana. But it was by no means a storage dam, it 
was the result of missing space in the gorge of the 
Jibal Balaq. It served to raise the water onto the 
level of the fields which accumulated by approxi- 
mately 1 cm/year. Another difference was the large 
extension of the two oases. The North Oasis cov- 
ered an area of 3750 ha, the South Oasis one of 
5 300 ha 9 and also that the whole oasis relied on 
only one dam. Moreover like this the irrigation 
scheme corresponded very well to the political or- 
ganisation of the Sabaeans. 

The main food crop planted in the oasis were the 
cereals wheat, barley and sorghum, and vegetables. 
The main cash crop was the date palm. This planta- 
tion needed surplus water from wells 10 . Fields and 
water rights could be in private hands but the 



1 U. Brunner, The Sustainability of the Ancient Great Dam 

of Ma'rib in Yemen. ICID Journal 49 no. 4, 2000, 53. 
' Idem, Die Erfonchung der antiken Oase von Marib mil 

HilfegeomorphologischerUntersuchungsmethoden,ABADY 

2 (1983) 90. 
'° I. Hehmeyer, Der Bewaraeningslandbau auf der antiken 

Oaie von Marib, ABADY 5 (1991) 60. 



The Geography and Economy or the Sabaean Homeland 



majority of the yield was turned over into the pos- 
session of the state. In this way the Sabaeans had a 
productive agriculture and in store rooms a reserve 
which served in times of droughts and for non- 
agrarian people. Like this a highly differentiated 
society developed with remarkable parts of it 
working in the second and tertiary sector. Further- 
more the rich agricultural output allowed a high 
population density. Both together led to the estab- 
lishment of larger cities. 

Population 

The most cited fact of my scientific work is the 
number of inhabitants in Marib in Sabaean times, 
which I said to be between 30 000 and 50000". 
This figure was calculated by taking the number of 
inhabitants in 1973 and the extension of sayl-irri- 
gated fields in the same year. In this way I obtained 
an idea of the field size a person needs, to make a 
living. So: 

1973 3 900 ha: 13 000 pers. = 0.3 ha/pers. 

Sabaean time 9 600 ha: 0.3 ha/pers. = 32 000 pers. 

The basic idea behind this calculation was the ex- 
perience that the irrigation technique as well as the 
food crops were still more or less the same. It was a 
very rough method to give an order of magnitude 
rather than an exact figure. 

There are several hints that this figure of around 
30 000 persons is rather too small than too big. 
The 1973 figure of the extension of sayl-irrigated 
fields is assembled of 2 000 ha with at least one 
yield per year and 1 900 ha which were thought to 
be irrigated every now and then. But an estimated 
1 000 ha of the sayl-irrigated area showed a supple- 
ment well-irrigation' 2 . A fundamental difference 
between the modern and the ancient situation is 
the missing palm-plantations in modern times. 
Dates are highly nutritive food, which has to be 
taken in account when regarding the alimentation. 

There is another way to calculate the potential 
of the Marib oasis by taking the basic water needs 
of a person per year. W. J. Cosgrove and F. R. Rijs- 
berman 13 cite an internationally accepted figure of 
500 m 3 of water per person and year. This figure is 
based on the fact, that the production of one kilo- 
gram of bread needs - independent from the cli- 
mate - one cubic metre of water. In order to reach 
a reliable result for the Marib region it has to be 



stated that flood irrigation loses about 60-70 % of 
the water to the aquifer or by evaporation or return 
flows to the wadi. Some of it was used to irrigate 
date palms from wells. 
To summarize we get the following facts: 

Minimum amount of water per person 

and year 500 m 3 

Average water in Wadi Dhana 

per year 100 mio m 3 

Water loss by flood irrigation 

per year (65%) 65 mio m 3 

Possible water consumption 

per year 35 mio m 3 

Now we may calculate the number of persons who 
could have lived from this water potential: 

35 mio m 3 : 500 mVpers. = 70 000 persons 
The result clearly shows that the figure based on 
the comparison of traditional and ancient harvest- 
ing with 32 000 persons is on the safe side and by 
no means exaggerated. As we see the water poten- 
tial in Marib was even of such a quantity as to 
nourish 70 000 persons on the basis of sayl-irriga- 
tion. After all, the figure of 30 000-50 000 inhabit- 
ants in Marib given in 1983 may be taken as quite 
correct whereas 50 000 may be closer to reality. At 
least a society of this number could have been eco- 
nomically self-sufficient. 

Trade 

Irrigated agriculture was the backbone of the 
Sabaean economy. Another, although less impor- 
tant pillar was the international trade, which is 
closely connected to the term »incense trail« u . 
The most important goods were frankincense and 
myrrh originating mostly from South Arabia itself, 
and precious stones and spices from India. These 
goods were transported by camel caravans over- 
land to the Mediterranean borderlands as well as to 
Mesopotamia. To give an idea of the volume of the 
frankincense trade, some figures may be helpful. 

11 Brunner, ABADY 2 op.cit. 106. 

12 R. Schoch, Die antike Kulcurlandschaft des Stadrbezirkes 
Saba' und die heutige Oase von Ma'rib in der Arabischen 
Republik Jemen, in: Geographica Helvetica 33 no. 3, 1978, 
126. 

13 W. J. Cosgrove - F. R. Rijsberman, World Water Vision. 
Making Water Everybody's Business (2000) 32. 

14 N. Groom, Frankincense and Myrrh. A Study of the Ara- 
bian Incense Trade (1981) 10. 



Ueli Brunner 



The yearly production for export is estimated to be 
in the order of 2 500-3 000 t. It is estimated that 
about half of it was produced for the Roman 
Empire. The transport needed about 7000-10000 
camels 15 . One incense tree produces between 3 kg 
and 10 kg each year if it is milked. But after some 
years it needs time to recover. This means that 
about half a million incense trees were growing in 
Southern Arabia. During the first millenium B.C. 
the South Arabian kingdoms, among them the 
Sabaean one, was for a long period the leading one, 
possessing almost the monopoly. 

The Sabaeans offered many products but they 
didn't need any because of their productive self- 
sufficient agriculture. So trade consisted in an ex- 



change of goods for cash, which was mostly gold, 
silver or coins. Therefore the balance of trade was 
extremely positive, which led to an accumulation 
of wealth in Southern Arabia 16 . Due to its remote 
location this wealth was not endangered. The 
Sabaean Kingdom was well hidden and protected 
by the distance and by the gusty desert from the 
political lust of their trade partners to penetrate, 
conquer and thus profit from, the luxurious natu- 
ral and cultural equipment of Arabia Felix. 



Address: 

Dr. Ueli Brunner, Stockstr. 30, CH-8330 Pfaffikon, 

ueli_brunner@bluewin. ch 



" B. Vogt, Im Reich der Diifte: Weihrauch und Weihrauch- 
handel in und um das Gluckliche Arabien herum, in: 
W. Raunig (ed.): Im Land der Konigin von Saba, Exhibi- 
tion cat. Monaco (1999) 215. 

" Ibidem 214. 



The Geography and Economy of the Sabaean Homeland 7 

(U. Brunner) 

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*Lu ^JS j^iauu J ^jl«l yjll jUaiU jjjSII J- jiill ^ Uiji JiiS AjjJI SunUI jjL^JI i^ulS, .SjjSj iliilS Js3 

&Ua (JW^r 3 L)^ 0"°^ L5* L$JP C^ ^LS (JALd tJ 3 ^ _J*J , 6 ^«ij C&«VI (jJJJluiil cpliiuiV j*J J* --Pd^' SO^ 4 -^^ (j) 
(jSJ ?rb^J £>i* ,-dljj jit (_£ jll <LjJaj ,t_5^>ll (jialjc-I (J^l (j* JjiliJI (J^-JI 6^-« £■» (J-«^*jJJ 4-*C-li 4jj£j jAj . (Jawilt 

iJjjLj 35 (Jl'j^ ^Ijj dut£ <jj t5 J 'j ts^ Sja^Ull flUJI 5a«£a .Lj_>iu» p^-v^u JSi JalN <jJc ^LaII ^j-* u_i»£-» _£* 500 
AjiLk U^ a£L^ tli3l£ oalj .3_uUjyt <^i 4jU- <£ jUj O jl> Jj ^yjil) jLa^Vlj 3j-%II Jjt Jill t*lliSj t Q;;^ -» jaIIj 

- g'<^ *]a ( jjjjLaail 1^jI£_^ju1 Sjviljvtll LJl^AVl A*i - ^ii-flL*JI l^jt j->, > <n ( .ilbiUj U^u ' t '_'■■'; - <J.4a-4j jL-ajVI (jl& 
.SAauuJI l_jj*JI J^U SjJJsJI AjjL-iaaJlj 3wnMl Cjljjill lDUjwI ^JIjILj Ujjtj l^iLiJSI 



Serguei A. Frantsouzoff 

THE CHRONOLOGICAL FRAME FOR THE HISTORY 

OF RAYBUN (INLAND HADRAMAWT): 

LINGUISTIC AND PALAEOGRAPHIC CRITERIA 



The problem of chronology remains the most seri- 
ous obstacle that every specialist in South Arabian 
Studies inevitably encounter. Before the conver- 
sion of the Himyarite kingdom to monotheism in 
the late 4 century A.D. the southwestern corner 
of the Arabian peninsula was in a relative isolation 
and the synchronisms between the events, which 
took place in it, and the history of other ancient 
civilizations are extremely rare. However, the gen- 
eral chronological scheme of South Arabian politi- 
cal evolution in the 1 st to mid-6 r centuries A.D. 
has been successfully elaborated on the basis of a 
limited number of large historical texts, especially 
al-Mi'sal inscriptions, dated by local eras which 
are more or less precisely correlated with the 
Christian one 1 . As to Yemenite chronology during 
the 1 st millennium B.C., the thorough palaeo- 
graphic analysis of epigraphic materials has been 
considered till recently to be the only reliable 
foundation for its reconstruction. 

Forty five years ago J. Pirenne published the 
first (and, as it turned out, the last) volume of her 
fundamental work on the palaeography of ancient 
Yemenite inscriptions which became a turning- 
point in the development of Sabaean Studies. She 
created an integral palaeographic system, in which 
South Arabian texts of the 1 st millenium B.C. had 
been arranged by periods marked with capital 
Latin letters (A, B, etc.) and divided each into three 
or four styles (e.g. A1-A4 or D1-D3), and elabo- 
rated on this basis a new relative chronology of the 
ancient civilization of Yemen 2 . Almost all the spe- 
cialists closely connected with this field of Oriental 
Studies accepted her system, even those among 
them who, like A. G. Lundin, rejected her specula- 



tions upon the so-called shorter chronology . At 
first sight such quasi-unanimity seems to have been 



Sources of illustrations: All Photos: Archiv of the Soviet- 
Yemenite Complex Expedition 1984-91, Institute of Oriental 
Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, S c Petersburg. - 
Diagrams and design: Author, assisted by I. Tikhonova. 
The present article has been prepared with the financial support 
of the Russian Foundation for Basic Researches (project no. 
01-06-80249 ^Statistical Methods for the Study of the Palaeog- 
raphy of South Arabian Inscriptions as a Basis for the Recon- 
struction of Their Relative Chronology*). 

1 See e.g. M. A. Bafaqih, L'unification du Yemen antique. La 
lutte entre Saba', Himyar et le Hadramawt du I er au III eme 
siecle de l'ere chretienne. Bibliotheque de Raydan I (1990) 
117-135. 136 tab. 2; Ch. J. Robin, Sheba (dans les inscrip- 
tions d'Arabie du Sud), in: Supplement au Dictionnaire de 
la Bible (1996) 1 135 f. (tabl.). 1137-1 140. - The long discus- 
sion about the exact beginning of the so-called Himyarite 
era (or the era of Mabhad son of Abhad) came to an end in 
1996, when a group of French scholars adduced conclusive 
proofs in favour of its dating from 110 B.C.: Ch.J. Robin - 
J. Beaucamp - F. Briquel-Chatonnet, La persecution des 
chretiens de Najran et la chronologie himyarite, Aram 
Periodical 1/12, 1999/2000, 15-83. 

2 J. Pirenne, Paleographie des inscriptions sud-arabes. Con- 
tribution a la chronologie et a l'histoire de I'Arabie du Sud 
antique I. Des origines jusqu' a 1'epoque himyarite. Ver- 
handelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor 
wetenschappen, letteren en schone kunsten van Belgie. 
Klasse der letteren. Verhandeling N r 26 (1956). - Later on 
the basis of Hadramitic epigraphic materials mostly origi- 
nated in Shabwa she extended her scheme up to the end of 
South Arabian civilization, but didn* t describe it in detail: 
eadem, Les temoins ecrits de la region de Shabwa et l'his- 
toire, Fouilles de Shabwa I (1990) tab. 1. 

3 A. G. Lundin, Gosudarstvo mukarribov Saba', sabejskij 
eponimat (1971, with a large summary in French: 280-301) 
passim. According to her chronological (and palaeographic) 
scheme Pirenne traced the beginning of South Arabian civi- 



10 



Serguei A. Frantsouzoff 



unexpected, since some imperfections and even se- 
rious defects of Pirenne's palaeography were quite 
clear. But the task she audaciously completed was 
(and still remains) so difficult and so urgent for the 
progress in South Arabian Studies that the over- 
whelming majority of scholars preferred to enjoy 
the advantages of her method and system and to 
ignore their obvious demerits. 

There is no rule without exception, however. In 
his detailed review of this work A. Jamme revealed 
principal mistakes and shortcomings typical for 
Pirenne 4 . In spite of a sharp and sometimes rude 
tone of his polemics the critical remarks made by 
this scholar are for the most part well-founded and 
should be taken into consideration. It is not sur- 
prising at all that in 1991 A. Lemaire repeated 
two main objections raised by Jamme against 
Pirenne's palaeography. He emphasized once more 
that various palaeographic styles, which Pirenne 
had arranged in a strong chronological succes- 
sion, could be simultaneous 5 and expressed his dis- 
agreement with her >Helleno-centric< approach 
and groundless parallels she drew between ancient 
South Arabian and Greek palaeography 6 . 

In certain cases the rigorous application of 
Pirenne's scheme led to curious results. For in- 
stance, the editors of a new corpus of Ethiopian in- 
scriptions attributed the beginning of a dedication 
extant in two copies (RIE 23 and 24) to the style 
A 4' and hesitated in dating the main part of the 
same text (RIE 26 and 27) from A 4' or B l 7 . 

It would be strange to persist in the maintenance 
of the palaeographic system whose foundations, 
especially the >shorter< chronology, proved to be 
unreliable. The immediate task which must be put 
now before all the specialists in Sabaean Studies 
consists in the elaboration of a new palaeography 
based on correct premises and on treatment of 
voluminous epigraphic documentation. The dis- 
covery of more than 2 700 inscriptions at Raybun 
and some adjacent sites in the western part of 
Inland Hadramawt by the Soviet- Yemenite Com- 
plex (i.e. multidisciplinary) Expedition (SOYCE) 
during nine campaigns of excavations in 1983-91 
affords an excellent opportunity for such a project. 
From the very beginning of the SOYCE works 
G. M. Bauer, who was reponsible for the study of 
epigraphic materials until his death in 1989, en- 
countered the problem of their arrangement in 
chronological order. The stratigraphy was not of 



great value for hira, since the ancient settlement of 
Raybun perished in fire and therefore the over- 
whelming majority of its inscriptions were found 
in the >level of destruction* in which tiny fragments 
of them were shuffled without distinction of their 
original locations and the periods they went back 
to. Certainly there are some texts discovered in situ 

lization back to the 5 th century B.C. (Pirenne, Paleographie 
op. cit. passim). However, this conception was recently re- 
considered and proved to be incorrect. Exhaustive argu- 
ments in favour of the so-called longer chronology have 
been presented by a number of leading epigraphists and 
archaeologists who specialize in ancient Yemen: see e.g. 
A. de Maigret - Ch. J. Robin, Lea fouilles italiennes de YalS 
(Yemen du nord): nouvelles donnees sur la chronologic de 
l'Arabie du sud preulamique, Comptes rendues 6a seances 
de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1989) 
255-291; A. Avanzini, La chronologic longue et le debut 
de 1'histoire sudarabique, Quaderni di srudi arabi 11, 1993, 
7-18; eadem, La chronologie »coune«: un reexamen, in: 
Ch.J. Robin (ed.), Arabia antiqua. Early origins of South 
Arabian Slates, Conference Rome 1991 (1996) 7-13; J.-F. 
Breton, Quelques dates pour I'archeologie sudarabique, ibi- 
dem 87-110; Robin, Sheba op. cit. 1111-1117. 

4 A. Jamme, La paleographie sud-arabe de J. Pirenne (1957). 

s >A toutes les epoques, plusieurs styles de graphic morro- 
mentale ou cursive (archaisante, classique, vulgaire, negli- 
gee . . .) peuvent etre contemporains«: A Lemaire, Histoirc 
du Proche-Orienc et chronologie sudarabique avant Alex- 
andre, in: Robin, Arabia antiqua op. cit. 35. He cited on 
that occasion a very important statement of S. A. Kaufman: 
•Typology, of course, does not prove chronology* (ibidem 
35 n. 4). At this point his criticism coincided with that of 
Jamme who wrote: >La valeur accordee par J. Pirenne a la 
succession des types graphiques est nettement exageree et 
surfaite [. . .] Nous ne parvenons pas a croire a un systcme 
qui, pratiquement, n' accepte memc pas la possibility de la 
contemporaneite de plusieurs types differems et considerc 
que la similitude de deux graphics est la preuve certaine 
de la contemporan iiti des personnes mentionnees dans ees 
textes« (Jamme op. cit. 35). 

6 Lemaire op. cit. 36. - Those ideas about the influence 
exerted by the Greek monumental script of the 5* century 
B.C. on the early South Arabian one were expounded in 
Pirenne' s essay »LaGreceet Saba«: J. Pirenne, La Greece! 
Saba. Une nouvelle base pour la chronologie sud-arabe, in: 
Memoircs preserves par divers savants a l'Academie des 
Inscriptions et Belles-lettres XV (1955) 88-192 pi. 1-11. - 
The distinctly negative position of Jamme towards them is 
well-known: see e.g. Jamme op. cit. 15-19. 27 f. 

' E. Bernard - A. J. Drewes - R. Schneider, Recueil des 
inscriptions de l'Ethiopie des periodes prj-axoumite et 
axoumite I. II (1991) 97 f. lOOf. The reconstruction, palaeo- 
graphic and semantic analysis of this dedication is given 
in: S. A. Frantsouxoff, Le >(ailleur de pierre< (grby-n/ -An) 
dans les inscriptions sudarabiques, Raydin 7 (2001) 126. 
136 n. 6. 



The Chronological Frame for the History of Raybun 



11 



Periods and stages 



An. 1 



An. 2 



An. 3 



R. 



Linguistic peculiarities 

Sabaic verb hqny t-t, -wl 

Hadramitic form of this verb (s'qny l-t, -wl) 

Sabaic attached pronouns in h (-hw, -h, etc.) 

Hadramitic attached pronouns in s 1 (m, sing, -s 1 , -s ! ww, 

d. -s'my; pi. -s'rri) — + + 

Hadramitic attached pronouns in t (f. sing, -t, -tyw) - + + 

Hadramitic attached pronouns in s 3 (f. sing, -s 3 , -fyw) 

Orthographic peculiarities 

Indifferent use of the signs J and 8 to render the same 
phoneme (except some morphemes and proper nouns) 

Total replacement of J by 8 

Table 1 The linguistic and orthographic criteria for the chronological arrangement of Raybun inscriptions 



and inscribed slabs reused as paving-stones after 
repairs or rebuildings of temples, but only a small 
part of such written sources can be dated exclu- 
sively on the grounds of archaeological data . 

In that situation Bauer made use of another ob- 
jective criterion for the reconstruction of relative 
chronology connected with linguistic peculiarities 
of Raybun inscriptions. In them the Sabaic forms, 
like the verb hqny >to dedicate< and the attached 
pronouns in h, alternate with the s'-form of the 
same verb (s'qny) and the pronominal suffixes in s ! 
and t/s 3 typical for Hadramitic. Besides that in or- 
thography the abrupt disappearance of the sign I 
and its replacement by 8 are also attested. In con- 
sideration of general tendencies of the palaeo- 
graphic development of South Arabian script and 
of the political history of ancient Yemen which 
begins with the epoch of Sabaean hegemony Bauer 
divided all the inscriptions found by the SOYCE 
among four successive periods. The weekest point 
of this scheme consisted in his attempt to correlate 
them with Pirenne's styles'. 

In the course of the preparation for publication 
of 458 inscriptions originated in the temple Hadran 
of Raybun (site Rb I, building 1) Bauer' s classifica- 
tion was slightly changed. With due regard to obvi- 
ous distinctions in palaeography and spelling be- 
tween the first three periods and the 4 th one we 
decided to distinguish only two periods, ancient 
(periode ancienne - An.) and late (periode recente - 



R.), but the first of them was divided into three 
stages (An. 1 - An. 3). The linguistic and ortho- 
graphic features peculiar to each stage or period are 
demonstrated below (see Table l) 10 . 

On the basis of these criteria the exhaustive pal- 
aeographic analysis of the inscriptions originated 
in Hadran was undertaken. It is obvious that the 
only way to avoid any subjective approach in this 
field of research consists in establishing a number 
of strict characteristics which don't depend on per- 
sonal estimations and biases towards some concep- 
tions. Hence the measurement of dimensions and 
proportions of signs take on special significance. 
Unfortunately many texts are known only by pho- 
tographs and the determination of their measures is 



1 For the previous »Rencontres sabeennes« held in Moscow 
in May 1999 A. V. Sedov prepared a concise survey of those 
texts which don' t exceed in number a dozen of items, but 
unfortunately it still remains unpublished. 

' G.M. Bauer, Epigrafika Rejbuna (sezony 1983-1984 gg., 
obshchij obzor), Trudy Sovetsko-jemenskoj kompleksnoj 
ekspeditsii I. Khadramaut. Arkheologicheskie, etnografi- 
cheskie i istoriko-kuPturnye issledovanija (1995) 125 tab. 1; 
126 tab. 2; 144 tab. 3. 

' These grammatical phenomena have been examined in 
detail in: S. A. Frantsouzoff, Raybun. Hadran, temple de la 
deesse 'Athtar uln /'A5tar' lra . Fasc. A. B, Inventaires des in- 
scriptions sudarabiques 5 (2001) 35. 50f.; idem, Le had- 
ramoutique epigraphique et sa place dans le groupe des 
langues semitiques, in: Russian Orientalists to the 36^ 
ICANAS, (2000) 68 f. 



12 



Serguei A. Frantsouzoff 




P 1= _; P_.= ; 



Fig. 1 Conventional signs used for the designation of dimensions 



a matter of considerable difficulties. As Jamme has 
clearly demonstrated, one of serious faults inherent 
in Pirenne's method was connected with her negli- 
gence in the evaluation of characters' dimensions". 
Thanks to Bauer a lot of epigraphic materials 
found by the SOYCE (but unfortunately not all of 
them) were thoroughly measured on the spot. The 
formalization of these data proved to be quite easy 
(see Fig. 1). For the calculation of characters' pro- 
portions the introduction of special coefficients 
was recognized as reasonable: 

Pi - coefficient of proportion for the upper half 
of a character; 

P2 - coefficient of proportion for the lower half 
of a character; 

P - the mean of coefficients of proportion. 

Their values can be found out according to the 
formulae represented on Fig. 1 . The use of a half of 
characters' height in these formulae and not of 
their whole height is accounted for the fact that 
every character is divided into two halves, some- 
times slightly unequal, with a special horizontal 
line which was drawn by engravers, when they 
marked out inscriptions. Besides that, the inscrip- 
tions are frequently damaged so that only one half 



of a character or of a line is extant and can be 
measured. 

Owing to the palaeographic research of Hadran 
inscriptions carried out in accordance with this 
method it was ascertained that during the so-called 
ancient period (An.) the coefficient of proportion 
had a strong tendency towards decrease from one 
stage to another - from P (An. 1) = 0,82 through P 
(An. 2) = 0,64 to P (An. 3) = 0,48 - and thus on the 
interval between the 7 th and 3 rd centuries B.C. the 
signs became much narrower 12 . As to the late pe- 
riod (R.), the texts are attributed to it according to 



He has revealed a lot of divergences between the data cited 
by Pirenne according to her analysis of photographs and 
the real dimensions of original epigraphic monuments and 
their signs: Jamme op. cit 39-48. 51 -57. 61 f. 68-71. 74-103. 
110. 
1 Frantsouzoff, Raybfln. Hadran op.cit. 31-46 fig. 2. Ac- 
cording to some unpublished results of radiocarbon dating, 
which Sedov kindly let me know, the transition from the 
ancient period to the late one took place at Raybfln and 
probably in Inland Hadramawt as > whole in the 3 ri century 
B.C. and not in the early 2" d century B.C., as G.M. Bauer 
suggested at first (ibidem 37 f. n. 9). 



The Chronological Frame for the History of Raybun 



13 



5 -, 




4 


f 


3 


A A /\ l- *~ N| 


N 2 


/\ /\ N \ ^^ 






0,4 0,45 0,5 0,55 0,6 0,65 0,7 0,75 0,8 0,85 0.9 0,95 1 


P 



Diagram 1 The distribution of the standard inscriptions 

dated from the 1 st stage of the Ancient Period (An. 1) 

according to the proportions of their signs 



5 




4 


K 


3 

N 2 

1 


1 \ S 

r- 4 \ k 

/ U.—1 ■ . . 






0,3 0,35 0.4 0.45 0,5 0.55 0.6 0.65 0.7 0,75 0,8 


P 



Diagram 2 The distribution of the standard inscriptions 

dated from the 3 rd stage of the Ancient Period (An. 3) 

according to the proportions of their signs 



their orthography and their script which is distin- 
guished by peculiar bulges at the ends of the signs' 
strokes. At the same time the proportions of these 
signs vary on a wide range of values (from P = 0,46 
to P = 0,91) and cannot be used to any degree for 
the dating of inscriptions 13 . 

However, the epigraphic documentation from 
the temple Hadran for the most part consists of 
small fragments which often bear one symbol or 
even its detail and hence their dating from a certain 
stage or period is sometimes vague, especially 
within the limits of the ancient period. Thus only 
in two cases the attribution of inscriptions to its 
stages was made exclusively in accordance with 
their grammatical peculiarities: Raybun-Hadran 1 
from An. 1 (because of the use of -hw) and Ray- 
bun-Hadran 202 from An. 3 (thanks to the occur- 
rence of s'qny and of two signs t). It seems neces- 
sary to check the above-mentioned results on 
wider material. 

For this purpose all the inscriptions of the an- 
cient period which can be dated solely on the basis 
of the linguistic and orthographic criteria cited in 
Table 1 were selected from Raybun epigraphy. The 
exception was made for some texts of An. 3 in 
which the use of the form s'qny coincides with the 
lack of palaeographic features typical for R. The in- 
dispensable condition for the insertion of an in- 
scription in this category consisted in the presence 
of precise measurements of its signs' dimensions in 
the SOYCE archives 14 , since the calculation of the 
coefficient of proportion (P) was envisaged by the 
plan of research 15 . The results achieved during the 
treatment of these standard inscriptions are repre- 
sented below. 

As it follows from this table there are only five 
inscriptions dated from An. 2 by this method which 
are not representive at all for their small number. 



Therefore the mean of their coefficients of propor- 
tion - P (An. 2) = 0,5 1 - should not be taken into ac- 
count. Besides that, three of them (Rb 1/84 bid. 3, 
lev. 1 no. 253 a-e = SOYCE 633; Rb XIV/89 no. 21 
a-d = SOYCE 1937; Rb XIV/89 no. 221 = SOYCE 
2075) were composed by the same author, Thamak- 
humaw son of Nadab'"" (Tmkkmw/bn/Ndb m ). It 
seems that the fragmentary nature of the majority 
of Raybun inscriptions reduces a probability of the 
occurrence of the verb bqny and the attached pro- 
nouns in s' or t in the same text. As a result the selec- 
tion of standard inscriptions attributed to An. 2 can- 
not be based solely on linguistic criteria, the applica- 
tion of palaeographic characteristics is inevitable. 

The distribution of the values of P attested in the 
standard inscriptions dated from An. 1 and An. 3 is 
represented on the following diagrams. 

Though the range of P-values for An. 1 is rather 
wide (0,5<P<1,0), the majority of texts included 
in Table 2 and attributed to it can be divided into 
two main types: >narrow< (0,5<P<0,58) and >large< 
(0,67<P<1,0). The first of them was not attested in 
Hadran epigraphy. However, the mean of P for 
standard inscriptions of An. 1 is equal to 0,72 and 
does not differ much from this parameter ascer- 
tained for Hadran texts (0,82). It should be noted 
that this regularity is statistical and certain devia- 
tions from it are possible. In some cases the propor- 



11 Ibidem 46-48 fig. 3. 

H Thus Raybun-Hadran 202 mentioned above is rejected, be- 
cause its P was evaluated by photograph. 

15 The texts attributed to R. were excluded from this analysis, 
since their proportions have no distinctive function for 
their dating. It is worthy of note that the range of the values 
of P for this period should be considerably extended: see 
some inscriptions from Mayfa'an with very narrow charac- 
ters, e.g. Rb XIV/90 no. 60 = SOYCE 2377 /P=0,23/ or Rb 
XIV/89 no. 37 = SOYCE 1952 /P=0,31/. 



14 



Serguei A. Frantsouzoff 



Period 


Temple 


Archaeological Siglum 


Epigraphic Siglum 


P 


Additional 
Remarks 


An. 1 


Hadran 




Raybun-Hadran 1 


0,8 






Rahban 


Rb 1/84 passage, lev. 1 no. 248 a-c 
Rb 1/88 no. 70 


SOYCE 770 
SOYCE 1678 


0,6 
0,79 


Fig. 2 






Rb 1/89 bid. 4, lev. 1 no. 296 a. b 


SOYCE 1865 


0,66 






Kafas/Na'man 


Rb V/84 no. 8 a. b 
Rb V/91 no. 74 


SOYCE 801 


0,84 
0,84 


Fig. 3 




Mayfa'an 


Rb XIV/88 no. 1 a-e 


SOYCE 1469 


0,58 








Rb XTV/88 no. 2. 3 


- 


0,58 


1. 3: P = 0,72; 
Fig. 4 






Rb XIV/88 no. 77 a-c 


SOYCE 1541 


0,57 








Rb XIV/88 no. 84 a. b-90 


SOYCE 1548-1554 


0,53 








Rb XIV/89 no. 5 


SOYCE 1920 


0,73 








Rb XIV/89 no. 18 


SOYCE 1933 


0,67 








Rb XTV/89 no. 69 


SOYCE 1984 


0,5 








Rb XIV/89 no. 75 


SOYCE 1990 


0,78 








Rb XIV/89 no. 76 


SOYCE 1991 


0,67 








Rb XIV/89 no. 81 


SOYCE 1996 


1,0 








Rb XIV/89 no. 137 


SOYCE 2052 


0,71 








Rb XIV/89 no. 159 


SOYCE 2074 


0,57 


1. 3: P=0,8 






Rb XIV/89 no. 199 


SOYCE 2115 


1,0 








Rb XIV/89 no. 246 a-d 


SOYCE 2161 


0,88 


Fig. 5 






Rb XIV/90 no. 47 


SOYCE 2364 


0,57 


Fig. 6 






Rb XIV/90 no. 170 


SOYCE 2485 


0,71 








Rb XIV/91 no. 17 


- 


0,63 








Rb XIV/91 no. 21 


- 


0,79 








Rb XIV/91 no. 25 


- 


0,71 








Rb XIV/91 no. 28 a. b 


- 


0,84 








Rb XIV/91 no. 29 


- 


0,84 








Rb XIV/91 no. 33 


- 


0,86 




An. 2 


Rahban 


Rb 1/84 bid. 3, lev. 1 no. 210 a. b 


SOYCE 647 


0,59 








Rb 1/84 bid. 3, lev. 1 no. 253 a-e 


SOYCE 633 


0,45 


Bauer op. cit. 
(note 9) fig. 3; 
S. A. Frant- 
souzoff, PSAS 
25, 1995, pi. 1 






Rb 1/88 no. 99 


SOYCE 1705 


0,49 


Fig. 7 




Mayfa'an 


Rb XIV/89 no. 21 a-d 


SOYCE 1937 


0,46 








Rb XIV/89 no. 221 


SOYCE 2075 


0,57 


Fig. 8; S. A. 
Frantsouzoff, 
Epigrafika 
Vostoka 25, 
1998, 132-143 
fig. 8 



The Chronological Frame for the History of Raybun 



15 



Period 


Temple 


Archaeological Siglum 


Epigraphic Siglum 


P 


Additional 
Remarks 


An. 3 


Hadran 




Raybun-Hadran 
188 


0,45 






Rahban 


Rb 1/84 bid. 3, room A, lev. 1 
no. 117 a. b 


SOYCE 582 a 


0,65 


Fig. 9 




Kafas/Na'man 


Rb V/88 no. 11 


SOYCE 1571 


0,5 








Rb V/88 no. 12 


SOYCE 1572 


0,56 








Rb V/88 no. 38 a. b 


SOYCE 1574 


0,7 








Rb V/88 no. 47. 48 


SOYCE 
1584+1585 


0,62 


Fig. 10; the 
use of s'qny 
and of J 






Rb V/88 no. 60 


SOYCE 1587 


0,53 


Fig. 11; the 
use of s'qny 
and of i 






Rb V/88 no. 63 


SOYCE 1589 


0,53 








Rb V/88 no. 65 


SOYCE 1591 


0,68 








Rb V/88 no. 67 


SOYCE 1593 


0,55 








Rb V/88 no. 82 bis 


SOYCE 1599 


0,53 


the use of 
s'qny and of I 






Rb V/91 no. 67/40 


- 


0,53 






Mayfa'an 


Rb XIV/88 no. 5 


SOYCE 1471 


0,45 








RbXIV/89no. 11 a-d 


SOYCE 1926 


0,63 








Rb XIV/90 no. 50 


SOYCE 2367 


0,4 


Fig. 12 






Rb XIV/90 no. 52 


SOYCE 2369 


0,44 








Rb XIV/90 no. 120 


SOYCE 2435 


0,63 








Rb XIV/90 no. 171 


SOYCE 2486 


0,44 








Rb XIV/90 no. 175 


SOYCE 2490 


0,59 


Fig. 13 






Rb XIV/90 no. 185 


SOYCE 2500 


0,5 





Table 2 Standard Hadramitic inscriptions from Raybun dated exclusively according to their linguistic peculiarities 



tions of signs depends on a disposition of lines 
on slab. For instance, in Rb XIV/88 no. 2. 3 (see 
Fig. 4) and Rb XIV/89 no. 159 = SOYCE 2074 the 
space left by engravers for 1. 3 was not enough to 
make the height of its signs equal to that in 11. 1-2 
and their proportions were distorted. 

The values of P calculated for An. 3 cover an- 
other interval (0,4<P<0,7). The inscriptions dated 
from it are also separated in two main types. The 
>narrow< one (0,4<P<0,53) has already been at- 



tested in Hadran, but the >large< type (0,62<P<0,7) 
occurs here for the first time and seems more typi- 
cal for the temple Kafas/Na'man. Therefore the 
mean of P (0,55) evaluated for all the texts of An. 3 
included in Table 2 is bigger than in Hadran (0,48). 
According to their palaeography some standard 
texts of An. 3 probably represent a special type 
transitory to R., since the ends of several signs in 
them are decorated with small bulges (see Fig. 9. 
13). It is very strange that the same bulges are 



16 



Sekguei A. Frantsouzoff 



found in the unique inscription Rb XIV/90 no. 47 
= SOYCE 2364 which is dated from An. 1 ! How is 
it possible to explain this phenomenon? It can be 
assumed that the diversity of palaeographic styles 
within the same stage was greater that we suggest 
now. From the other side, this text probably com- 
posed during An. 3 could be intentionally ar- 
chaized by the use of the Sabaic attached pronoun 
-hw. Strictly speaking, the very strong inclination 
of a horizontal stroke in *i (see e.g. Rb XIV/88 
no. 2. 3 Fig. 4) is not typical for An. 1 too. In 



any case thorough palaeographic studies of the 
standard inscriptions attributed to An. 1 and An. 3 
in accordance with their linguistic features promise 
many interesting discoveries which should be of 
considerable importance for the reconstruction of 
South Arabian chronology. 

Address: 

Dr. Serguei A. Frantsouzoff, Institute of Oriental 
Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, S 1 Peters- 
burg Branch, Russia, e-mail: frants@spios.nw.ru 



Sergi m A. Frantsoi zofp: The I hronolocical I k\mi. m>u rut History of RaybOn PLAT E 1 





Fig. 2 Inscription from rhe temple Rahb.in, Rb 1/84 
passage, lev. I no. 248 a~c 



Fig. 3 Inscription from the temple Kafas/Na'man, 
Rb\7')l no. 74 




La « U * 




Kg. t.i liiuI b Inscription from the temple Maj f,i In, Rb XTV/88 no. 2 and i 



I'l \ I I ' Serguei A. Frantsouzopf: The < hronolocii u Frami por mi Histori oi B 




f 




t "ig, 5 Inscription from the temple Mayfa'an, 
Kb \I\ 89 no. 246 a-d 





-"_^_"_"_ 



1 i^ (> Inscription from oHc temple M i 
Rb XIV 90 no 17 





Ins. ription from th< icmpli Mj.i.i 

Rb \l\ 89 ii. 



SERGUEI A. Frammk vol I liil OlRONm.OCICAJ FrAMI FOR TH1 HlSTORY Ol RaYBDM PLATE 3 





Fig. 9 Inscription from the temple Rahban, Rh 1/84 bid, 3, 
room A lev. I no. 117 a-b 



Fig. 10 a Inscription from the temple Kafas/Na'man, 
Rb V/88 no. 47 




Fig. 10 b Inscription horn the temple Kafas/Na'man, 
Rh V/88 no. 48 





Fig. 1 1 Inscription from the temple 
Kafas/Na'man, Rb V/88 no. 60 



Fig. 1 2 Inscription from the temple Mavta'an, Rb XIY790 no. 50 




Inscription from ch< temple Mayfa'an, Rb )CIV/90 no. 1 -; > 



20 Serguei A. Frantsouzopp 



**Mj*k» *aj" J*M- :(*.t*jJ>*i) 0J«J (Sip* v^J» jlitfl 
(Serguei A. Frantsouzoff) 



lQ*ila 



01-06-80249 j^j £_».>*•) V'^l ^j 3 ^ 1 ^jj 11 <"> «>>JI ttf i> ^* s*^ ^jj 51 «j» ^^1 :^^2U 
cjjlij ("tjj-jll ^iij l«uji iJle-V l*" 1 -^ Mj*S ^ M_>^ (> lAjfo* W^jA ^-M S#L-»VI JjiJ" 
25 J± 22 i> (ilj^v ■**■ tf a "Rencontres sabeennes 6" (/Ml i^-M j^^ v 1 ^i-W-V 1 1> '>*>\£ 

.2001 (jJ)jaL. 



,idi jj»i« ^j-J ^i^ll jDja i^ijafl i^sl ji^j iy>j 2700 Je jjjj U ow i> ^^ 53 M& fi 
V-iU-i. Je. .U* dljj . (ii>.>«. iJiiU- /oaJL) omj 4*j-* 1991 - 1983 i> »>» <> (SOYCE) 
Ojill Jjlj J) £*Ul ujill ,>) (*jM J) ^-^ »l— * ij^ i> *Jl*UI *3S5» JaJjJI y«J £ i*iS ijyifl 
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^iull j^ j-* < (1989-1925) jj* .c .£ UjUil ^ «0ta .J* ow i> (An. 2) \hU> ^_>*ll Jj»j 0*1 

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Iwona Gajda 



THE EARLIEST MONOTHEISTIC SOUTH ARABIAN INSCRIPTION 



Historical context 

In the second half of the 4 century A.D. monothe- 
ism was adopted by the Himyarite kingdom as the 
official religion. The temples were abandoned and 
the inscriptions no longer invoked ancestral dei- 
ties 1 . Of course monumental inscriptions only 
provide information about the situation in the upper 
categories of society and we have good reason to 
think that polytheism survived for a longer time 
among the lower categories. 

The adoption of monotheism was not only a 
religious but also a political decision as was recog- 
nized by A. F. L. Beeston . After the unification of 
South Arabia by Himyar around 300 A.D., the 
Himyarite sovereigns had to consolidate the new 
state, extremely heterogeneous from an ethnical 
and religious point of view. To impose a common 
cult on the whole population, as conquerors used 
to do in the past, could have been a unifying factor, 
but in the case of Himyar it would have been diffi- 
cult to carry out. The Himyarites had simply no 
cult to propose. It seems that the kingdom of Him- 
yar had no real national deity because of its struc- 
ture (a confederation of tribes who continued to 
worship their own deities) and because of its former 
history; in fact, for three centuries or more the 
Himyarites disputed with Saba' the title of the 
»king of Saba' and dhu-Raydan« and the Sabaean 
heritage. Hence, the Hi m y ar ' tes lacked in some 
way strong marks of identity. Indeed, when Yasirum 
Yuhan'im and Shammar Yuhar'ish unified the 
South Arabia around 300 A.D., they maintained 
the cult of the Sabaean national deity, 'Imqh in 
Ma'rib. This fact survived even in the Islamic tradi- 
tion. According to the commentator of Nashwan 
al-Himyari, quoting one Abu Muhammad, proba- 
bly al-Hamdanl, both kings "confirmed Bilqis in 



her royalty and did not change anything to her sta- 
tus in Ma'rib« 3 . As al-Hamdanl says that Almaqah 
is Bilqis 4 , this passage appears to be an allusion to 
the fact that the Himyarite kings kept the cult of 
'Imqh. At the time it was a logical policy for those 
who presented themselves as the heirs of Saba'. But 
it seems that, as time went by, this legacy proved 
to be insufficient. The Hi m y arite kings governed 
from Zafar in the highlands. There was no impor- 
tant place of worship capable of attracting tribes 
from remote areas. Outside South Arabia religious 
philosophy was undergoing an important evolu- 
tion in the centres of the contemporary world. 
Henotheism, syncretism, monotheism, more uni- 
versal and more personal in their approach to the 



Source of illustration: Photo I. al-Hudayd, National Mus. of 
Sana'a. 

1 There are two possible exceptions. The inscription MAFY- 
Bam Zubayr 2 dated 512 Him./412 mentions the gate of the 
temple of Ta'lab but there is no invocation to this god and it 
does not imply that the temple was still in use at that time. 
The second inscription, Gr 27 which is not dated but could 
be dated according to paleography from the 5 [ century, 
contains the invocation: 'ttrS 2 rqn w-rd"lh-hmw w[...]ws 1 : 
»'Athtar Shariqan and with the assistance of their god [...]«. 

2 A. F. L. Beeston, The Religions of Pre-islamic Yemen, in: 
J. Chelhod et al., Le peuple yemenite et ses racines, L'Arabie 
du Sud. Histoire et civilisation I (1984) 269. 

3 N. S. al-Himyari, Muluk Himyar wa-aqyal al-Yaman, 
qasidat Naswan b. Sa'ld al-Himyarl, tahqlq 'All b. Isma'Il 
al-Mu'ayyad, Isma'il b. Ahmad al-Garaf !, at-tab'a at-talita, 
San'a', Dar al-Kalima (1406 h./1 985) 89. This passage is 
quoted by M. A. BafaqTh, L'unification du Yemen antique, 
Bibliotheque de Raydan I (1990) 403. 

4 H. A. al-Hamdani, Kitab al-Iklll. al-guz' at-tanl, haqqaqa-hu 
wa-'allaqa 'alayhi Muhammad b.'AlT al-Akwa' al-Hiwali, 
at-tab'a at-talita, Bayrur, Mansurat al-Madina (1407h./ 
1986) 285. 



22 



twONA GaJDA 




Fig. 1 The inscription YM 1950 

deity were taking over traditional religions, ♦reli- 
gions of the city*. These trends must have been 
known to the Himyarites. And this philosophy re- 
sponded very well to their goal of unifying the 
divers groups of population. It was clever to pro- 
pose to all the population a worship of one deity, 
acceptable to everybody. Indeed, at least in the be- 
ginning, the religious terminology used in official 
royal inscriptions and most other inscriptions is 
neutral (clearly different from the terminology 
used in Jewish inscriptions and the Christian in- 
scriptions dating from the time of the Ethiopian 
domination in the 6' h century). The one God was at 
first called mr' s'myn (the Lord of Heaven) or mr' 
s'myn w-'rdn (the Lord of Heaven and Earth) 5 . 
From the first half of the 5 th century onwards, the 
God was called '/ / 'In I 'Ihn or Rhmnn. The sure 
datable occurrences of the name Rhmnn come 
from the second half of the 5 th century or later 6 but 
it was probably in use earlier: Rhmnn can be re- 
stored in the inscription Ja 520 = Rossi 24 = Lundin 
10 from the reign of the king Abikarib As'ad with 
several co-rulers 7 . 

In my opinion, the monotheism adopted by the 
Himyarite kings, a judaizing monotheism, was pre- 
sented as a kind of syncretic, national religion. The 
adoption of monotheism as a strong unifying factor 
seems to have been a conscious political decision. 



Inscription YM 1950 

An interesting inscription concerning the begin- 
ning of monotheism in Yemen is conserved in the 
National Museum of Sana'a . 



The inscription comes from Bayt Ghufr, 3 km 

north of Haz, and some thirty km northeast of 

Sana'a. 

Dimensions: length: 40 cm; height: 29,5 cm; width: 

14 cm; letters' height: 4,5 cm. 

It reads: 

1 ... 'q]W s 2 'bn S'm'y tltn d-Hmln[. . . 

2 ... mi](')-hmw (b')ls'myn l-s'(m') 'nt(w)[. . . 

3 . . . 'm]r '-hmw T'm Yhn'm w-bny-h[w ... 

4 ...mlky S'b' w-d-Rydn w-Hdrm]a>f iv-Ymnt 
w-l-ys'm'n h'l(s')[mya... 

5 ... vr]h-hw d-hrfn d-tltt w[. . . 

Translation: 

1 . . .the qa]yls (princes) of the tribe of Sam% 
section dhu-Humlan [... 

2 . . .]their [lor]d, Lord of Heaven, let <Him> 
hear the prayer [. . . 

3 . . .]their lo[rds] Tha'ran Yuhan'im and his son 

4 ... two kings of Saba', dhu-Raydan, Hadra- 
ma]wt and Yamanat and let the Lord of 
Heaven] hear [. . . 

5 . . Jon the month of dhu-kharafan of the year 
[...] three [... 



' See Table 1. 

1 See the dated inscriptions Gar 5Y A/12-13 and Gar $Y B/7 
from 572 Him./4*2 A.D.. CIH 4/3 from 573 Him/463 
A.D.; Ry 520/4-5 from 574 HW464 A.D. and so on, see 
Table 1. In several Christian inscriptions dating from the 
Ethiopian domination the God's name Rhmnn is mentioned 
in invocations to the Holy Trinity. The name Rhmnn is men- 
tioned in some inscriptions that cannot be dated precisely. 

' In the inscription Ja 520 = Rossi 24 = Lu 10, Ch. Robin has 
proposed to restore at the line 5: l-dt bmr-bmw Rh[aum]: 
Ch. Robin, Judaisms et christianisme en Arabie du Sud 
d'apres les sources epigraphiques et archeologiques, PSAS 
10, 1980, 92 f. Indeed, on an unpublished photograph of 
Jacqueline Pirenne (which will be soon edited) we read 
clearly: /-flr hmr-hmw Rift. ... so the name Rhmnn appeared 
probably already in the first half of the 5* century. 

• I am grateful to Dr Yusuf Abdallah, President of the High 
Authority of Antiquities, Museums and Manuscripts, to 
M. Abdal Aziz al-Gindary, the Director of the National 
Museum of Sana's, for permission to publish this inscrip- 
tion, and to Ibrahim al-Hudayd, Ibrahim al-Hadl, Muham- 
mad ar-RadhT and Abdallah Ishaq with whom I had the 
pleasure of working on the collection of the South Arabic 
inscriptions in this Museum. This collection will be pub- 
lished in collaboration with F. Bron and Y. Abdallah. 

' See the inscriptions Gar Bayt al-Ashwal 2/3-4 (mr' s'myn); 
RES 3383/3-4 (mr' s'myn); Gar Bayt al-Aiwal 1/2-3 (mr' 
s'myn w'rcln). 



The Earliest Monotheistic South Arabian Inscription 



23 



The authors of this text, the qayls of the dhu- 
Humlan section of the Saml tribe, invoke the one 
God, »their lord, Lord of Heaven« ( . . . mr] '-bmw 
b 'Is myn). In the earliest monotheistic inscriptions 
the one God is invoked as mr' s'myn (the Lord of 
Heaven) or mr' s'myn w-'rdn (the Lord of Heaven 
and Earth) 9 . From the first half of the 5* century 
onwards God is called 7 / 'In I 'Ibn or Rhmnn. 
Both names appear with the epithets mr' s'myn 
{w-'rdn) or b'l s'myn w-'rdn or d-l-hw s'myn or 
d-b-s' myn K '. 

The invocation continues: l-s'm' 'nt [. . .]. A sim- 
ilar passage occurs in a monotheistic inscription 
RES 4969/5 from the reign of Shurahbill Yakkuf 
with his two sons: l-ys'm'n b-'nt-h[. . .]. These pas- 
sages can be compared to l-ys'm'n sit... appearing 
in the inscriptions RES 4699 (\-y]s'm'n Rhmnn 
slwt);]a 866 (l-ys'm'n slt-hmw); Hamilton 11/3-4 
(l-ys'm'n Rhmnn dt-s'). The etymology of the 
word 'nt is not well established. According to the 
Sabaic Dictionary this noun derived from the root 
'NW should be translated by "distress, trouble«. 
This rendition is possible but in the monotheistic 
inscription we can suggest another interpretation. 
A comparison with the word sit appearing in simi- 
lar contexts makes me suggest rendering 'nt by 
»prayer« and to search its etymology in one of the 
meanings of the Hebrew root 'NH. In Middle 
Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic it can mean »bowed« 
(with reference to God, in the sense of »humble, 
pious«). In Christian Palestinian Aramaic 'nwt' 
and in Mandaean 'nuta mean »humility« n . This 
sense seems quite appropriate to our context. I sug- 
gest rendering l-s'm' 'nt [... by »let Him hear the 
prayer«. 

The authors then mention their [lo]rds, the 
kings Tha'ran Yuhan'im and his son (or sons 12 ), 
whose name has disappeared, kings of Saba', 
dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt and Yamanat. Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im seems to be the king known by the in- 
scriptions Ja 669, Ja 670 and Ja 671 + Ja 788, the 
last inscriptions from Mahram BilqTs dedicated to 
Almaqah before the total abandon of the temple. 
In these inscriptions, Tha'ran Yuhan'im is men- 
tioned with his son Malkikarib Yuha'min. It is quite 
also possible that in our inscription YM 1950, the 
son whose name has disappeared was Malkikarib 
Yuha'min. The latter king, Malkikarib Yuha'min 
with his two sons, Ablkarib As'ad and Dhara"amar 
Ayman are regarded as the first monotheistic kings 



of South Arabia. They invoke the one sole God in 
two earliest South Arabian monotheistic inscrip- 
tions, RES 3383 and Gar Bayt al-Ashwal 2 both 
dated from the year 493 of the Himyarite era which 
equals 383/384 A.D. Prior to this date we know of 
no datable South Arabian monotheistic invoca- 
tion. The inscription YM 1950 is then the earliest 
monotheistic South Arabian inscription known. Its 
authors are not kings, so we cannot be sure that 
when it was written monotheism had already be- 
come the official religion professed by the king 
Tha'ran Yuhan'im and his son. Yet, the authors 
were quite probably the qayls of the dhu-Humlan 
section of the Sam'T tribe who worshipped an im- 
portant deity, Ta'lab Riyamum. If they invoke the 
one God, then it is possible that monotheism was 
already the official religion and the kings they in- 
voke were also monotheists. 

What could be the date of this inscription? Un- 
fortunately, we only know the number of units, tltt 
- 3, and the name of the month, dhu-kharafan / 
dhu-khirafan which corresponds to August 13 . The 
two first monotheistic inscriptions are dated from 
the year 493 of the Himyarite era (383/384 A.D.), 
one of them, Gar Bayt al-Ashwal 2, gives the 
name of the month: dhu-di'wan which equals 
January. Our inscription could in theory be dated 
from the same year, from the month of dhu-kha- 
rafan/ August which comes before the month of 
dhu-di'wan/January (the Himyarite year starts 
with the month of dhu-thabatan/ April) or from 
the year 483 or 473 of the Himyarite era/373 or 363 
A.D., or even earlier. Though, it seems difficult to 
date it earlier that 473 \\m\.l'bbl> A.D. because in 
470 Him./360 A.D. the powerful family of Yaz'anid 
qayls invokes pagan deities in a long inscription, 
'Abadan 1. As the family of Yaz'an seems closely 



10 See the inscriptions CIH 543/1 (Rhmnn d-b-s'myn); CIH 
542/7 (R]hmtm d-b-s'myn); Ja 857 (Rhmnn d-b-s'm[yn); 
Ir 71/5 ('In d-b-s'myn). 

11 L. Koehler- W. Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic 
Lexicon of the Old Testament II, trans, and ed. by M.E.J. 
Richardson (1995) 855. 

12 The form bny, »son(s)«, which appears in the text can be 
singular, dual or plural, but in this case it seems more 
probable that it is a singular. 

n For the name of the month d-brfsee C. Robin, Decompte 
du temps et souverainete politique en Arabie meridionale, 
in: F. Briquel (ed.), Proche-Orient ancien. Temps vecu, 
temps pense, Antiquites semitiques III (1998) 125. 



24 



Itona Gajda 



linked to the Himyarite kingdom (it seems even 
that, of Hadramite origin, they had taken the 
Himyar's side in the Himyarite conquest of 
Hadramawt 14 ), so we would expect them to 
invoke the one God if monotheism had been 
recognized as the official religion. Thus, at the time 
when the 'Abadan inscription was written, in 470 
Him./360 A.D., monotheism did not yet appear to 
be the official religion of the Himyarite state. This 
leaves us with a choice of 493, 483 or 473 Him. as 
a possible date for the inscription YM 1950. An 
earlier date would be more probable if we identify 
the king Tha'ran Yuhan'im in our inscription 
YM 1950 with the one mentioned as Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im, king of Saba' and dhu-Raydan, son 
of Dhamar'all Yuhabirr, king of Saba' and dhu- 
Raydan in the inscription from Masna'at Mariya 
dated from the year 434 Him./324 A.D. (see be- 
low). In this case if the inscription YM 1950 was 
dated 493 Him., it means that Tha'ran Yuhan'im 
would have reigned 59 years or more which seems 
unlikely. Thus I assume that the inscription was 
dated 473 or 483 Him./363 or 373 A.D. 

The name of the king Tha'ran Yuhan'im 
(Yun'im) appears several times in the following 
inscriptions from the 4 th century: 

- Schm/Marib 28, from the reign of Dhamar'all 
Yuhabirr and his son Tha'ran Yuhan'im, both 
kings of Saba', dhu-Raydan and Hadramawt 15 
(the name of the latter is partially restored); 

- Ja 668, from the same reign of Dhamar'all 
Yuhabirr and his son Tha'ran Yuhan'im, both 
kings of Saba', dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt and 
Yamanat (the name of the former is partially 
restored). 

Both inscriptions, Schm/Marib 28 and Ja 668 
relate a military expedition against the Hadra- 
mawt. 

- Masna'at Mariya, this inscription, dated 434 of 
the Himyarite era/324 A.D., mentions Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im, king of Saba' and dhu-Raydan, son of 
Dhamar'all Yuhabirr, king of Saba' and dhu- 
Raydan; 

- 'Abadan 1, the inscription of the Yaz'anid qayls, 
dated from the month of dhu-madhra'an of 
the year 470 Him./July 360 A.D., relates events 
involving three generations over a period that 
can be estimated as at least 20-30 years. The 
authors mention the involvement of the family 
in the military campaigns of the king Tha'ran 



Yun'im, later of the king Tha'ran Ayfa' and then 
of the king Dhamar'all Ayfa' 16 . 
- Ja 669, 670, 671 + 788, these inscriptions from 
Mahram Bilqis mention Tha'ran Yuhan'im with 
his son Malklkarib Yuha'min (with or with- 
out epithet), two kings of Saba', dhu-Raydan, 
Hadramawt and Yamanat. 

The king Tha'ran Yuhan'im son of Dhamar'all 
Yuhabirr in the inscription Masna'at Mariya has 
been identified with Tha'ran Yuhan'im son of 
Dhamar'all Yuhabirr, mentioned in the inscrip- 
tions Schm/Marib 2 and Ja 668, and with Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im mentioned with his son Malklkarib in 
the inscriptions from Mahram Bilqis, Ja 669, 670, 
671 + 788 17 . It was proposed to identify this king 

H See C. Robin -1. Gajda, L'inscription du wadl 'Abadan, 
Ravdin 6, 1994, 134. 

15 For the royal tide »king of Saba', dhu-Raydan and Hadra- 
mawt*, which appears for the first time in this inscription 
and seems to be a variant of the so-called long title 'king 
of Saba', dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt and Yamanat*, see 
N. Nebes, Ein Kriegszug ins Wadi Hadramawt aus der 
Zeit des Dhamar'all Yuhabirr und Tha'ran Yuhan'im, Le 
Museon 109, 285 f. and below in this article, note 18. 

16 It was proposed to consider the kings Tha'ran Ayfa' and 
Dhamar'all Ayfa' whose names appear in the inscription 
'Abadan 1 as members of the royal family who did not reign 
as kings unless we imagine a complicated succession of 
reigns (see Robin-Gajda op.cit. 133). We could also sup- 
pose that these two kings were usurpers, but this seems less 
probable. 

17 M. al-Iryani-G. Garbini, A Sabaean Rock Inscription at 
Mosna', AION 30, 1970, 408. In the inscription Masna'at 
Mariya, Tha'ran Yuhan'im is mentioned with the tide -king 
of Saba' and dhu-Raydan* as a son of Dhamar'all Yuhabirr 
•king of Saba' and dhu-Raydan*, while in other inscrip- 
tions these two kings appear with the long title, »king of 
Saba' and dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt and Yamanat* used by 
the Himyarite sovereigns since its adoption by Shammar 
Yuhar'ish at the end of the 3 rf century. W.W. Muller has 
suggested that it was an abbreviation of the long tide which 
did not reflect any change in the politica] situation, which 
seems probable: W. W. Muller, Das Ende des antiken 
Konigreichs Ha^ramaut. Die sabaische Inschrift Schreyer- 
Geukens = Iryani 32, in: R. G. Stiegner (ed.), Al-Hudhud. 
Festschrift Maria Hofner zum 80. Geburtstag (1981) 250. 
Let us mention the inscription Schm / Marib 28 where the 
kings Dhamar'all Yuhabirr and Tha'ran Yuhan'im appear 
with the title "king of Saba', dhu-Raydan and Hadramawt*. 
It seems that in the first decades after the unification of 
South Arabia by Shammar Yuhar'ish, the vassals of the 
Himyarite kings did not always attach importance to the 
long tide of their monarchs, especially when the vassals 
were of Himyarite or Sabaean origin. 



The Earliest Monotheistic South Arabian Inscription 



25 



with Tha'ran Yun'im mentioned in the inscription 
'Abadan l 18 . Also the king Tha'ran Yuhan'im men- 
tioned in our inscription YM 1950 could be identi- 
fied with this sovereign. This identification presup- 
poses a long reign of this king. He would have been 
associated to the throne by his father, Dhamar'ali 
Yuhabirr, probably not long before 434 Him./324 
A.D. (on this date he is mentioned in the inscrip- 
tion Masna'at Mariya) 19 . He would have reigned 
until at least the month of dhu-kharafan 473 Him./ 
August 363. In theory he could have reigned longer, 
even until 493 Him. (no later then dhu-di'wan 493/ 
January 384, the date of the inscription Gar Bayt 
al-Ashwal 2 from the reign of Malkikarib with 
his two sons, Dhara"amar Ayman and Ablkarib 
As'ad). However, this would suppose that he 
would have been in power for an excessively long 
time (59 years or more) as stated above. Anyway, 
his reign would have been long, at least 39 years 
and probably more. It does not seem improbable 20 . 

Thus, it seems that monotheism was adopted as the 
official religion some time during the reign of 
Tha'ran Yuhan'im and his son, probably Malkika- 
rib Yuha'min. It would probably have happened 
between 470 and 483 of the Himyarite era / between 
360 and 373 A.D. Of course, this is merely a hy- 
pothesis. 

As for the Arab Islamic tradition there is not much 
about the king Tha'ran Yuhan'im but he seems to 
have been considered as a quite important sover- 
eign. Al-HamdanI mentions him in these words: 
» Yun'im Taran was king of kings 
and to him belonged glory and pride«. 

These verses are attributed to As'ad Tubba' son 
of Malkikarib who evokes his ancestors. Going 
back in time he mentions his father, Malkikarib, 
then Yun'im Taran and then Shammar Yur'ish 21 . 

There are also some passages in the Arab tradi- 
tion that could refer to the king Tha'ran Yuhan'im. 
There is often question of Tubba' al-Aqran whose 
reign is situated between the reign of Shammar 
Yur'ish and those of Malkikarib and especially of 
his son As'ad Ablkarib (Malkikarib is not always 
mentioned) 22 . This Tubba' al-Aqran appears as a 
good and powerful king and is said to be identified 
with dhu-1-Qarnayn mentioned in the Koran. Dhu- 
1-Qarnayn is traditionally identified with Alexan- 
der the Great, but this nickname was sometimes 



given also to other personalities, like the Lakhmid 
prince Mundhir ibn Ma' as-Sama'. According to 
Nashwan al-Himyari, »Many of the Himyarites 
consider that this king [Tubba' al-Aqran] was dhu- 
1-Qarnayn mentioned in the Holy Koran as they 
saw the power of his reign, his wisdom, his justice 
and his good conduct« 23 . In another passage 
Nashwan states: »This king is Tubba' al-Aqran, he 
is dhu-1-Qarnayn, mentioned in the Koran, son of 
Shammar Yur'ish son of Ifrlqls son of Abraha dhu- 
1-Manar son of al-Harith ar-Ra'ish [. . .]. He was 
a great king, learned and wise. He became ac- 
quainted with the knowledge of the Book [. . .]« 24 . 
The position of Tubba' al-Aqran identified with 
dhu-1-Qarnayn in the succession of the Himyarites 
kings evoked in the Islamic tradition could corre- 
spond to the position of Tha'ran Yuhan'im in the 
succession of the kings known by the inscriptions. 
Some Islamic authors consider that al-Aqran had 
reigned for over 50 years 25 . Regarding the fact that 
Tha'ran Yuhan'im reigned for a long time and that 
the transition to monotheism may have taken place 
during his reign, I suppose that the mention of the 



18 Robin-Gajda op. cit. 133. 

19 The last dated inscription of one of his predecessors, Sham- 
mar Yuhar'ish, the inscription from Baynun, YM 1695 
could come from any year between 420 and 429 Him. / 
between 310 and 319 A.D. The inscription Ir 32 which re- 
lates a military expedition in the Hadramawt led by the king 
Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr could be dated around 430 Him., as it 
was proposed by Miiller op. cit. 251, which corresponds to 
320 A.D. The inscription Masna'at Mariya could date from 
the solitary reign of Tha'ran or still from his reign with his 
father Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr. 

20 Indeed, his grand-son Ablkarib As'ad had reigned at least 
since dhu-di'wan 493 /January 384 until at least dhu- 
kharafan 543 /August 433, 49 years or more. See the 
inscriptions RES 3383, Gar Bayt al-Ashwal 2 and Ry 534 + 
MAFY/Rayda 1. 

21 See al-Hamdani-Akwa' op. cit. (note 4) 337. 339. 

22 See J. M. E. Gottwaldt (ed.), Hamza al-Isfahanl, Hamzae 
Ispahanensis annalium libri X (1844) 129; H. O. Fleischer 
(ed.), Abu 1-Fida', Abulfedae Historia anteislamica (1831) 
116; Ibn Qutayba, Al-Ma'arif, tahqlq T. 'Ukasa, Misr, 
Matba'a Dar al-Kutub, Wizara at-Taqafa wa al-Israf al- 
Qawml (1960) 230; Ibn Khaldun, Tarih, mugallad at-tani, 
al-qism ar-rabi', Bayrut, Dar al-Kitab al-Lubnani wa- 
Maktaba al-Madrasa (1986) 98. 

23 Al-Himyari op. cit. (note 3) 97. 

24 Ibidem 96. 

25 Hamza al-Isfahanl op. cit. 127-128; Ibn Khaldun op. cit. 
98; Ibn Qutayba op. cit. 230. 



26 



IVONA GAJDA 



Yemeni Tubba' al-Aqran could refer to the king 
Tha'ran Yuhan'im, but this is only a supposition 
that cannot be proved. 



Conclusion 

The question, already mentioned, is whether the 
presented inscription YM 1950, whose authors are 
not kings, could be evidence of the adoption of 
monotheism as the official religion by the Himyarite 
kingdom. It is true that during the first centuries 
A.D. the fact of recognizing the supremacy of a 
king or a prince did not necessarily imply the 
adoption of the cult of his tutelary deity. In this 
case though, the authors, the qayls of the Sam'i 
tribe did not adhere to their ancestral beliefs but 
adopted a new religion. The dhfl-Humlan section 
of the Sam'i tribe used to worship Ta'lab and the 



cult of this deity was very ancient and important. 
What could have been their reasons for abandon- 
ing it? It would indeed have been a strange coinci- 
dence if the qayls of Sam'i had abandoned their an- 
cient cult of Ta'lab and adopted monotheism on 
the eve of the conversion of the Himyarite kings. 
I consider more probable the hypothesis that the 
conversion of the qayls of Sam'i followed the 
adoption of monotheism as the official religion by 
the Himyarite kings and that the inscription YM 
1950 was written at the time when monotheism 
was already the official religion of South Arabia. 



Adress: 

Dr. Iwona Gajda, Institut d' etudes semitiques, 

College de France, 52 rue du Cardinal Lemome, 

F-75231 Paris Cedex OS, Iwona.Gajda@college- 

de-france.fr 



The Earliest Monotheistic South Arabian Inscription 



27 



Table 1 a Monotheistic invocations classed in an approximative chronological order 



God's qualificative 


Inscription 


Year 






Him. 


A.D. 


(b')ls'myn 


YM 1950/2 






mr' s'myn 


Gar Bayt al-Ashwal 2/3-4 


493 


384 


mr' (s'my)[n] 


RES 3383/3-4 


493 


383/384 


mr' s'myn w-'rdn 


Gar Bayt al-Ashwal 1/2-3 






'In mr' s'myn 


MAFY-Bayt Gufr 1 






7 mr' s'myn w-'rdn 


Ry 534 + MAFY/Rayda 1/2 


543 


433 


Rh\mnn . . . 


Ja 520 = Rossi 24 = Lundin 10 






'In b'l s'myn 


RES 5085/7-8 


560 


450 


'Ihn b'l s'myn w-'rdn 


CIH 540/81-82 


564-565 


455-456 


(')ln (b)' {I) s'my(n) 


Dostal 1/4 


566 


456 


Rhmnn b'l s'myn w-'rdn 


Gar §Y A/12-13 


572 


462 


Rhmnn b'l s'myn w-'rdn 


Gar SY B/7 






b-rd' Rhmnn 


CIH 6/3 


573 


463 


Rhmnn b'l s'myn 


Ry 520/4-5 


574 


464 


Rhrn]»« 


CIH 45 + CIH 44/5 






Rhmnn b'l s'myn 


CIH 537 + RES 4919/5 


582 


472 


Rhmnn b'l s'myn w-'rdn 


MAFRAY-AbI Tawr 4 


596 


486 


Rhmnn mr' s myn 


MAFYS-Dura' 3 


598 


488 


Rbm\nn 


Gl 1194 = A 224/7 






Rhmnn mtrhmn 


Fa 74/3 


614 


504 


Rhmnn b'l s'myn 


Gar AY 9 d/1 


619 


510 


Rhmnn b'l s'myn 


Gar NIS 4/6-7 


617 ou 619 


507 ou 509 


Rhmnn 


Robin-Viallard 1/3 


629 


519 


Rhmn 


Ja 2484 






"Ihn d-l-hw s'myn w-'rdn 


Ry 508/10 


633 


523 


'Ihn d-l-hw s'[myn w-'rdn 


Ry 507/1 


633 


523 


'In d-l-hw s'myn w-'rdn 


Ja 1028/1 


633 


523 


Rhmnn 


9 






Rhmnn 'lyn 


11 






...n]fs' qds' 


1st. 7608 bis/1 






Rhmnn w-bn-hw Krs 3 ts 3 glbn [. . . 


16 






Rhmnn w-b[n-kvt ... 


Wellcome A103664 b/2 






Rhmnn w-Ms'h-hw w-Rh[q]ds' 


CIH 541/1-3 


657-658 


547-549 


Rhmnn w-Ms'h-hw 


Ry 506/1 


662 


552 


Rhmnn 


9 






Rhmnn mr' s'my(n) w-'rdn 


Ja 546/1 


668 


558 


Rhmnn mlkn 


4 







28 



IWONA GaJDA 



Table 1 b Invocations from the texts that are difficult to class chronologically 



God's qualificative or 


religious 


formula 


Inscription 


mr' s'myn 






MAFRAY-tlasi 1/3 


Rhmnn d-b-s'myn w- 


YM w- 


'lh-hmw rbyhd 


CIH 543/1-2 


'ln d-b-s'myn 






Ir 71/5 


R]hmnn d-b-s'myn 






CIH 542/7 


Rhmnn (d)kl'n[... 






CIH 539/4 


Rhmnn 






5 


Rhmnn 






Gar NIS 3/5 


Rhmn 






ATM 425/2, 4 (unpublished) 


Rhmn 






RES 5064/2 


Rhmnn 






Hamilton 11/3-4 


Rhmnn 






RES 4699 


'In 






CIH 151 + 152/2 


b'l ]s'myn w-'rdn 






CIH 926/3 


'In b'l s'myn [w]-'r[di 


i 




RES 4107/3-4 


Rhmnn 






RES 4109/1 


'lnb\_'\... 






RES 4111/2 


Rhmnn d-b-s'm[yn 






Ja 857/3 



The Earliest Monotheistic South Arabian Inscription 29 

(Iwona Gajda) 

pjlj £^JjJ ,(^"l"l JjpS ^J^l uAXa ujail j5b Uj3^ 0^*" tV"°' (JJ^UJI £j'_>M UJ*^ l>" lt*^ ' t'«*'» (J 

^ Uji!>j .(a^5U. 384/383) if j*-J **$ i> 493 J! JjiH ^SN -Oyi jc* </ll iijj^l =b&U uljiill J J 

4a.j Jc (>!*■ mjS (^ *il t* P* 5 ^ liJ 51 "-^^ -VB J 1 ^ li4 v 4 *- J » 3 i^ YM 1950 fSj J*®> t->& 
It. j fl eU-uJI i_jj i pjjj i jiljSI Ajyt Qjcfc i jajj aJjjSj ij5L«». (^ J £ jj (>« VLiI lji\£ i^jill ijjii>i!li .JL«j»VI 

^ Vjb- v* >-i J" 1 Af\i^ (jl«« jiii f^a! J* YM 1950 fSj(jS»Jll 0j» « (^(>J.(ui/ po/JfcM'Jf-* 

i_jjS ^SL *jj| j_« j^-ijj ^jl5 j^c elul i*iv> Luj i ^kjjSI il^j* J[ i+fy\ jjj iK^ ^ JlSaVI j '*'" - *j .Mj^l 

.(MV 373 - 360) JUbtfl <J#- Jc tf j*oJI j*JI (> 483 j 470 ^ On ' i>t« 



Iris Gerlach 



WHAT IS SABAEAN ART? 



Problems in Distinguishing Ancient South Arabian Art Using Saba 
and Qataban as Examples 



If in the following the question of Sabaean art and 
its definition is asked, this will probably appear at 
first sight somewhat premature for the history of 
the art of South Arabia. Even basic questions of an- 
cient South Arabian art still need clarification. For 
example, there is still disagreement or rather help- 
lessness with regard to the stylistic development 
and to an exact dating of sculpture 1 . It is still dis- 
putable as to how far art in this region has gone 
through independent development or has reacted 
in the course of its development to the influences 
of foreign cultures 2 . If foreign influence is recog- 
nised, the question is disputed and generally only 
research to a small extent is carried out as to where 
these originate from and how intensive this influ- 
ence is 3 . South Arabian monuments have so far 
only very rarely been observed under the aspect of 

Apart from the abbreviations suggested in ABADY 9 (2002) 
245 ff. the following are used: 

Cleveland (1965) R. L. Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian 
Necropolis. Objects from the Second Campaign (1951) in 
the Tirana' Cemetery, PAFSM 4 (1965) 

Gerlach (2002) I. Gerlach, Der Friedhof des Awam-Tempels 
in Marib. Bericht der Ausgrabungen von 1997 bis 2000, 
in: ABADY 9 (2002) 41 ff. 

Sources of illustrations: Fig. 1-5. 6 b. 11. 15: DAI, M. Manda.- 
Fig. 6 a. 7-10. 12-14. 16: DAI, J. Kramer. 

' General art-historical work is still a rarity in research into 
ancient South Arabian art. In particular for sculptures there 
are only very few analyses available on this topic. The most 
detailed work is provided by A. Hauptmann v, Gladiss, 
Probleme altsudarabischer Pkstik, BaM 10, 1979, 145 ff. and 
S. Antonini, La statuaria sudarabica in pietra, Repertorio 
iconografico sudarabico I (2001). In the case of Antonini we 
have a study of plastically sculptured material that brings 
things into good order and contains detailed descriptions. 



Both authors are aware of the difficulty of an exact dating 
(Hauptmann v. Gladiss op. cit. 145 ff. 155; Antonini op. cit. 
17 ff.). Therefore even with the younger works such as that 
of Antonini (see esp. Antonini op. cit. 18 fig. 2) we stUl find 
that they are always only put into an order of relative style 
stages. 

1 Not until most recently, as for example in the case of A. de 
Maigret, Alcune considerazioni sulle origmi e lo sviluppo 
dell'arte sudarabica, in: N. Nebes (ed.), Arabia Felix. Bei- 
trage zur Sprache und Kultur des vorislamischen Arabien. 
Festschrift Walter W. Miiller (1994) 142 ff. and of Antonini 
op. cit. their own share in the development of South Arabian 
art is emphasized more strongly. The comparisons men- 
tioned with the art of the Levantine, Mesopotamian, Egyp- 
tian and Greek cultural units as they are, for example, in: 
B. Segall, The Arts and King Nabonidus, AJA 59, 1955, 
315 ff.; eadem, Problems of Copy and Adaptation in the 
Second Quarter of the First Millenium B.C., AJA 60, 
1956, 165 ff.; eadem, Sculpture from Arabia Felix: the Ear- 
liest Phase, ArsO 2, 1957, 35 ff.; J. Pirenne, La Grece et Saba. 
Une nouvelle base pour la chronologie sud-arabe, Memoires 
presentes par divers savants a l'Academie des Inscriptions et 
Belles-Lettres XV (1955) 88 ff.; C. Rathjens, Kulturelle Ein- 
flusse in Siidwest-Arabien von den altesten Zeiten bis zum 
Islam, unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung des Hellenismus, 
Jahrbuch fur Kleinasiatische Forschung 1, 1950; Enciclope- 
dia Universale dell'Arte I (1958) 499 ff. s.v. Arabici preis- 
lamici, centri e tradizioni (A. Grohmann), should also be 
judged with care because of the meanwhile extended re- 
search sutus. Already in the l Jt half of the 1" millennium 
B.C. outside influences are apparent in South Arabian art, 
but these still remain limited to a few monuments, see in par- 
ticular I. Gerlach, Zur Ubemahme altorientalischer Motive 
in die Kunst Siidarabiens. Eine relieferte Bronzeplatte aus 
dem Jemen, BaM 31, 2000, 259 ff. 

1 S. Antonini, Una tavoletta-portafortuna in terracotta dagli 
scavi di Yala/Ad-Durayb/Republica dello Yemen, in: C. Ro- 
bin (ed.), Arabia Antiqua, Early Origins of South Arabian 
States, Proceedings of the First International Conference 
(1996) 143 ff.; K. Bartl, Siegel aus Sudarabien, in: U. Fink- 
beiner - R. Dittmann - H. Hauptmann (ed.), Beitrage zur 
Kulturgeschichte Vorderasiens, Festschrift fur Rainer Michael 
Boehmer{1995)5ff. 



32 



Iris Gerlach 



iconography and iconology. This mostly involves 
processing individual objects or small groups of 
finds 4 . 

Why therefore the search for a local style, why 
the comparison of Saba and Qataban? Should not 
the other points of greater priority be researched 
into first, before one tries to achieve a comparative 
analysis ? 

The following note-type expositions will pro- 
vide convincing information and help to direct the 
attention of art historic investigations to the basic 
questions. 

The questions regarding local styles have never 
been posed before in detail in South Arabian ar- 
chaeology, but since about the mid-sixties of the 
20' 11 century they indirectly play a decisive role in 
the discussion about art history 3 . Up until then the 
group of well-known works of art of South Arabia 
was very small and the few scientists who con- 
cerned themselves with the characteristics of an- 
cient South Arabian art, such as A. Grohmann 6 
or C. Rathjens 7 did not attempt to make any sub- 
divisions into the art of local regions, even if both 
of them often make statements as to the possible 
origin of the objects acquired mostly from the art 
market. This is due alone to the fact that almost no 
object was able to profess an assured find context. 

When in 1965 R. L. Cleveland 8 presented a cata- 
logue-type of publication of the objects which 
were found during the second excavation campaign 
by the AFSM in Hayd ibn 'Aqil, the cemetery 
of the Qatabanian capital Timna', the situation 
changed abruptly. Through Cleveland's publica- 
tion, several hundred objects of the most varying 
categories of art became accessible in picture and 
description. There is evidence that these were all of 
the same origin, namely from one Qatabanian cem- 
etery: they include various groups of anthropo- 
morphic and zoomorphic sculptures, as well as 
friezes and reliefs, stelae and inscription bases, also 
altars and miniature vessels. The rich visual mate- 
rial in this publication has inevitably become the 
reference book for the classification of other art 
products 9 . 

Unfortunately, however, the uncritical handling 
of Cleveland's material collection led to misinter- 
pretations in the history of South Arabian art, 
which reached as far as the most recent publica- 
tions of exhibition catalogues in Paris 10 , Vienna", 
Munich 12 and Rome 13 . Cleveland himself already 



pointed out the main, problems with the material", 
other consequences were not foreseeable. This means 
that in general the usefulness of the material as a 
reference is restricted by the circumstances of 
the finds 15 . By presenting the material, only the 
objects of the second campaign were published". 

* Compare, amongst others, Gerlach (2002) 259 ff.; H. Hit- 
gen, Magnesiumhydroxicarbonat - Ein wiederentdeckter 
Werkstoff in der altstidarabischen Kunst, in: ABADY 9 
(2002) 165 ff. as well as the works listed in note 3. 

' M. Hofner, Altsudarabische Stelen und Statuetten, in: Fest- 
schrift fur A. E. Jensen (1964) 21 7 ff. 225 establishes criteria 
that limit certain types to the Sabaean or Qatabanian state as 
a result of the sites on which they were discovered so far. 

' A. Grohmann, Arabien, HAW III (1963) in particular 218 ff. 

' C. Rathjens, Sabacica. Bericht fiber die archaologischen 
Ergebnisse seiner zweiten, dritten und vierten Reise nach 
Siidaribien II, MMVH 24 (1955). 

I R. L. Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis. 
Objects from the Second Campaign (1951) in the Tirana' 
Cemetery, PAFSM 4 (1965). 

* See for example S. Antonini, La staroaria sudarabica in pietra, 
Repertorio iconografico sudarabico I (2001); W. Radt, Kata- 
log der Staattichen Anrikensammlung von Sana'a' und an- 
derer Antiken im Jemen (1973) no. 55. 57 pL 21; W. Muller, 
Zwei altsudarabische epigraphische Stucke aus dem Museum 
fur Islamische Kunst in Berlin, NESE 1, 1972, 124 no. 4-6. 

10 Institute du monde arabe (ed.), Yemen au pays de la reine de 
Saba, exhibition cat. Paris (1997). 

11 W. Seipel (ed.), Jemen. Kunst und Archaologie im Land der 
Kdnigin von Saba', exhibition cat. Vienna (1998). 

12 Staattiches Museum fiu* Volkerkunde Munchen (ed-X Im 
Land der Konigin von Saba. Kunstschatze aus dem amtken 
Jemen, exhibition cat. Munich (1999). 

II M. Branca (ed.), Yemen. Nel paese detta Regina di Saba, 
exhibition cat. Rome (2000). 

" Cleveland (1965) 1 ff. 

15 The poor description of the find context in Hayd ibn 'Aqu 1 
during the campaign is also expressed in the list of the finds 
from the 2 nd campaign in the register (Cleveland [1965] 
1 76 ff .), which are reflected, amongst others, in the following 
remarks: »The addition [. . .] of remaining workers from the 
discontinued South Gate and Temple I sites (producing a total 
of approximately 190 workers), requires the discontinuance 
of fully descriptive cataloguing until field and/or laboratory 
assistance is available.. (Cleveland [1965] 179 no. 992). 

16 Cleveland (1965) 1. The first campaign is presented so far 
only in a short report by G. W. Van Beek, Recovering the 
Ancient Civilization of Arabia, The Biblical Archaeologist 
15, 1952, 14f. Likewise W. Phillips published in his travel- 
diary-like description (W. Philips, Qataban and Sheba. 
Exploring Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes 
of Arabia [1955] 109 ff.) only some of the finds in illustra- 
tions. There is absolutely no scientific study on the mate- 
rial. Also the publication of the objects of the first campaign 
by A.M. Honeyman as announced in his foreword by 
Cleveland (1965) IX never took place. 



What is Sabaean Art? 



33 



Moreover important material groups such as pot- 
tery, which would have been helpful as dating cri- 
teria, remained unmentioned. Furthermore the 
publication of tomb architecture and the stratigra- 
phy are missing, if we disregard the few sparse re- 
marks 17 . But in particular the fact that in retrospect 
no expressive statement about the origin of the 
majority of the objects found could be determined 
and no information about possible connections 
with other finds was available, caused Cleveland to 
present the objects purely antiquarianly. He had 
his reasons for not insisting on the rule of datings. 
Simply a terminus ante quern is given for the de- 
struction of Timna' and the connected abandon- 
ment of the cemetery in the first half of the 1 st cen- 
tury A. D. 18 — an event that according to the present 
status of research must more likely be dated in the 
2 century A.D. 1 '. A chronological beginning of 
the use of the cemetery is never explicitly stated, 
but instead there is a silent acceptance of equating 
the period of occupation of the cemetery with the 
period of occupancy of the town of Timna', imply- 
ing that the beginning therefore dates back at least 
to the 7 th century B.C. 20 . 

In other publications on Timna' and its ceme- 
tery inscriptions and in particular pottery are con- 
tinually mentioned as finds that fall in these earlier 
phases 21 . But it is especially the anthropomorphic 
and zoomorphic sculptures and reliefs that are 
never included in these 22 . Correspondingly there 
have only been late datings so far, extending to 
between the 1" century B.C. and the 1" century 
A.D. for these objects, which partly greatly differ 
from one another as far as style is concerned . 

However, still more serious than these chrono- 
logical problems is an apparently widespread clas- 
sification of art objects by their origin, which relies 
entirely on the comparison with the material col- 
lection presented by Cleveland. On the one hand, 
without any closer explanation, it is silently ex- 
pected that the material which appear on the 
cemetery of Timna' is Qatabanian and following 
this, that objects of unknown origin which have 
similarity with the material from Hayd ibn 'Aqll, 
are therefore also considered to be Qatabanian . 
The result of such estimations is amazing. On the 
one hand this gives the impression that Qataban is 
one of the main production areas for the ancient 
South Arabian sculpture, on the other hand the 
fine arts are concentrated on a very late period of 



the caravan kingdoms, i. e. the period of its slowly 
beginning disintegration. But from the phase of its 
greatest political influence almost no correspond- 
ing Qatabanian monument is known. 

The excavations by the German Archaeological 
Institute (DAI) which have been carried out during 
five campaigns on the Sabaean cemetery of the 
Awam Temple in Marib 25 now offer for the first 
time the opportunity of examining the most usual 
interpretations of the different origins of art on 
the basis of another large material collection of the 
most varying types in a tomb context. Therefore 
the decisive question is less that of what Sabaean 
art looks like, than — provocatively expressed - 
whether in comparison with the postulated Qata- 
banian art it has ever existed at all. 

In some points the Sabaean cemetery of the Awam 
Temple and the Qatabanian cemetery of Hayd ibn 
'Aqll are comparable despite evident differences. 
Both are situated significantly outside the urban 
settlement in connection with a sacred building 26 . 

17 Cleveland (1965) 173 f. taken over until most recently by 
WD. Glanzman, Hayd Ibn 'Aqil - der Friedhof von 
Tamna', in: Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde MUnchen 
op.cit. 192 1. 

18 Cleveland (1965) 1 with note 1 taken over up to today, e.g. 
by Glanzman op.cit. 192. 

" Personal report by A. de Maigret (Naples). These new exca- 
vation resuhs correspond well to the dating of the necropo- 
les by A. Jamme postulated on the grounds of the inscrip- 
tions up to the 3 rd century A.D.: A. Jamme, Pieces epi- 
grapbiques de Heid Bin 'Aqll, la necropole de Timna', Bib- 
liotheque du Museon 30 (1952) 12 f. 

20 Glanzman op.cit. 192; A. Avanzini, Die Hegemonie des 
Reiches Qataban, in: Seipel op. cit. 169 as well as verbal re- 
port by A. de Maigret during the Rencontres Sabeennes 5 in 
Naples in the year 2000. 

21 Albright op. cit. 14; Jamme op. cit. 12 f.; Glanzman op. cit. 192. 

22 Cleveland (1965) 1 leaves a dating open and defines only as 
terminus ante quern the year 10 A.D. or later. Compare also 
the new exhibition catalogue such as the Vienna Catalogue 
(Seipel op. cit. no. 341-357). All these objects from Timna' 
are dated with the exception of one (i. e. no. 348) at the first 
half of the 1" century A.D.; no. 156 between the 1" century 
B.C. and the 1" century A.D. 

21 Compare e.g. Seipel op.cit. no. 341 and 343. 

24 Compare ibidem no. 266-271. 274. 

25 See last Gerlach (2002) 41 ff. with literature. 

26 Cleveland (1965) 173 f.; Glanzman op.cit. 192; Gerlach 
(2002). Whereas the cemetery of the Awam Temple lies out- 
side of the actual temple building, beyond the ovoid sur- 
rounding wall, the Risaf Temple of Hayd ibn 'Aqll lies in 
the middle of the area of the necropolis (Complex III) and 
can therefore rather be interpreted as a cemetery temple. 



34 



Iris Gerlach 



The burials took place in mausoleum-type build- 
ings, which, however, are very different in their 
architectural detail 27 . A considerable amount of 
burial gifts were placed in the tombs of both Qata- 
banian and Sabaean deceased. These grave goods 
include normally proportioned ceramics as well as 
miniature objects that were made specially for the 
tomb. This means miniature pottery 28 , small-sized 
stone vessels 29 , altars and incense burners 30 as well 
as alabaster sculptures and reliefs 31 , which usually 
depicted the deceased themselves. All these pro- 
vide evidence of a similar cult of the dead in both 
the Qatabanian and the Sabaean kingdoms. 

Chronologically speaking both cemeteries ex- 
isted at the same time, even with different main 
occupation periods. The main occupation period 
of the Sabaean cemetery of Marib falls in the time 
between the 6 th and 3 rd century B.C. 32 , the Qataba- 
nian cemetery of Timna' on the other hand appears 
to have still been in full use in the first half of the 
Middle-Sabaean period at least. 

In the following a close look is to be taken at the 
individual groups of finds. Normal sized pottery as 
well as miniature pottery are to be disregarded, 
corresponding finds were indeed made in Hayd 
ibn 'Aqll, but never found their way into publica- 
tions. Other miniature objects on the other hand 
can be found in both cemeteries and are almost 
identical. These include, for example, beehive ves- 
sels made of alabaster (Fig. I) 33 , vessels of steatite 
(Fig. 2) M , miniature tripod vessels 35 and miniature- 
sized incense burners 36 . The two published minia- 
ture tripod vessels from Hayd ibn *Aqil with verti- 
cal grooved ornamentation at the surface and con- 
cluding lip at the edge 37 can be found in numerous 
samples for comparison in the cemetery of the 
Awam Temple (Fig. 3). The same applies to the 
miniature incense burners 38 . Both the simple type 
with sketchy engravings is apparent in Marib 
(Fig. 4), and the considerably more elaborate 
sample with decorative elements, which are bor- 
rowed from architecture (Fig. 5). 

More complicated is a comparison of sculpture. 
Here there are different groups of objects on both 
excavation sites. There seems to be more point in 
first concentrating on this group. But immediately, 
for example, upon regarding the anthropomorphic 
stone heads we notice that different phases of style 
are represented on each of the two cemeteries. Let 
us begin in Hayd ibn 'Aqll with the style, which 



varies most: There we find on the one side heads 
whose mask-like faces are often triangular in shape 
and appear strongly stylised, thus being corre- 
spondingly sketchUy decorated 39 . The individual 
details such as nose, mouth and eyes appear to have 
been attached belatedly, without gradual transi- 
tions. The ears stand off ornamentally to the sides. 
On the other side we find heads with a 3-dimen- 
sional moulding of the face, >harmonious<, >natu- 
ralistic< transitions of the individual features 40 . 
These heads give a much more life-like impression 
due to the richness of detail. 

Between these extreme contrasts there are >inter- 
mediate stages* which can probably be regarded as 
stylistic phases of development 41 . It is impossible 
to date these figures, which are so different in their 
stylistic design, at around the same time. 

Similar phenomena can be observed with the 
alabaster heads from the Awam cemetery (Fig. 6 a 
and b): Here too strongly stylised, mask-like, 
almost archaic-seeming heads can be found as well 
as plastic, carefully modelled examples. 



27 Cleveland (1965) 173 ft.; Glanzman op.cit. 192f.j Gerlach 

(2002); N. Roring, Grabbauten im Friedhof des Awam- 

Tempels als Beispiele sabaischer Sepulkralarcbicektur, in: 

ABADY9(2002)93ff. 
u S. Japp, Die Miniacurkeramik aus der Nekropole des 

Awam-Tempels in Marib, in: ABADY 9 (2002) 137ff. and 

hint at Glanzman op.cit. 192. There are unfortunately no 

publications on pottery from the cemetery of r^ayd ibn 

'Aqll to date. 
" Cleveland (1965) pi. 87-89. 
M Gerlach (2002) pi. 18f.; Cleveland (1965) pi. 90 f. 
J1 Gerlach (2002) pi. 31 ft; Cleveland (1965) e.g. pi. 1-23. 44 f. 

52-55. 
" N. Norbert, Die 'Grabinschriften' aus dem "Awim-Fried- 

hof. Vorbericht fiber die Kampagnen 1997 bis 2001, in: 

ABADY 9 (2002) 161 ff.; Gerlach (2002) 45. 
" Cleveland (1965) pi. 87 TC 1134. pi. 88 TC 1772. pi. 89 TC 

1951. 
" Cleveland (1965) e.g. pi. 87 TC 1129. TC 1134. TC 1906; 

pi. 88 TC 1813. TC 2525; pi. 89 TC 1957. TC 2514. 
" Gerlach (2002) pi. 18 no. 2-5; Cleveland (1965) pi. 90 TC 

1 100. TC 1 189. TC 1217. TC 1263. TC 1545. TC 1565. TC 

1908. TC 2020. TC 2019. 
" Gerlach (2002) 19 no. 1 -3; Cleveland (1965) pi. 90 TC 1731. 

TC 2273. TC 1862. TC 1915. 
" Ibidem pi. 90 TC 1217. TC 1565. 
" Ibidem pi. 90 TC 1955. pi. 91 TC 2011. 
" Ibidem e.g. pi. 16 TC 1882. pi. 23 TC 2259. 
" Ibidem e.g. pi. 1. 2 TC 539. pi. 6 TC 914. pi. 17 TC 1795. 

TC 1982. 
41 Ibidem e.g. pi. 7 TC 1316. pi. 9 TC 1361. pi. 19 TC 2041. 



Eig. 1 Beehive vessel made of alabaster. Cemetery of the Awam Temple (Aw 99 B 784). Scale 2 : 3 







Fig. 2 Vessel of steatite. Cemetery of the Awam Temple 
(Aw 98 A 2293). Scale 2:3 



Fig. 3 Miniature tripod vessel made of alabaster. 
Cemetery of the Awam Temple (Aw 97 A 970). Scale 2 : 3 





^M 







.... 


wmmm 


£*i%|§: 




jvrrl 




\ ' ■' ' e 




Fig. 4 Miniature incense burner made of limestone. 
Cemetery of the Awam Temple (Aw 01 E 153). Scale 2 : 3 











Fig. 5 Miniature incense burner made of limestone. 
Cemetery of the Awam Temple (Aw 01 F 15). Scale 2:3 



36 



Iris Gerlach 




Fig. 6 a Alabaster head in a more 'archaic' style. Ceme- 
tery of the Awam Temple (Aw 98 B 443). H: 15,0 cm; 
W: 12,6 cm; TH: 8,9 cm 



The process of the individual stylistic stages of 
development seems to be comparable and shows 
that they have a lot in common, whereby the more 
mature, more >naturalistic< types in Timna' are in 
the majority. This may certainly not be inter- 
preted as a coincidence of the excavation finds, but 
must be explained by the different main occupation 
periods of both cemeteries. 

Probably the biggest differences between both 
cemeteries lie in the burial cult. Whereas almost all 
Sabaean tomb heads were all placed in the niches of 
tomb stelae or in those of the tomb facades (Fig. 7), 
some but not all heads from Timna' appear to be- 
long to the category of free-standing figures which 
are visible from all sides" or mounted on a base* 1 . 
The above-average length of the necks which could 
be set into the pedestal with their lower ends, could 
be well explained in this way. A head - although 
very small - from Timna' demonstrates this method 
of installation" and leads us to assume that other 
heads* 5 were designed similarly. 

Other heads on the other hand, just like those 
from the Awam cemetery (Pig. S), have a flat back 
which is not elaborated plastically* 1 '. The heads 
which are designed to be viewed from the front 
must also have been set in niches. Niches in tomb 




Fig. 6 h Alabaster head in a more plastic and 

'naturalistic' style. Cemetery of the Awam Temple 

(Aw 99 B 594). 



Ibidem pi. 15 TC loO.v li can be presumed ihji some oi the 

heads belong i" statuettes js is illustrated, lor example, in 

< '.Irvrland op. cil pi 28 and 29 TC 1 5 1 8. Sonic ol these were 

found standing on -< pedest.il hut without j head. Cleveland 

ihidem pi. JO. J1 TC 1587. 

Cleveland (1965) pi. 24. 25 TC 1884. 

Undent. 

Ihidem pi. 2k TC 205.V Presumably the head also belongs to 

ihis group! ihidem pi. n TC 914. 

Ibidem e.g. pi. I6TC 1882.pl. 18 TC 1975.pl. 19 TC 2041. 



What is Sabaean Art? 




Fig. 7 Niche in a tomb facade (Tomb 10, Areal B at the Cemetery of the Awam Temple) 



facades or tomb stelae like those found in the 
Awam cemetery are, however, not known in 
Timna' according to the publication. Cleveland 
simply mentions that during the first campaign in 
Timna' so-called house-shrines were found that 
with their niches could have been used to accom- 
modate plastically sculptured heads 47 . On the 
other hand the >stone housings< excavated during 
the second campaign are different to the tomb 
stelae found in the Awam cemetery: In the case of 
the tomb stelae the niche is usually worked in the 
upper third of the oblong stone. The alabaster head 
was set in the niche with the help of plaster or in 
the case of the broader and higher niches a bust 
was set in. The lower part of the stelae, which takes 
up to two-thirds of the total height, was used as a 
pedestal. In the so-called stone housings of Timna' 
there is a niche worked into an oblong-shaped 
stone, adapted to match the shape of the stone* 8 . 
A kind of pedestal does not exist in the examples 
published by Cleveland. The height of the niches 
rather suggests that there were the images of per- 
sons in the form of very slender busts or reliefs 
standing in them 49 and no heads. 

If one takes a look at other anthropomorphic art 
products from Timna', the main thing that one 
notices is the much wider range of variations in 
Hayd ibn 'AqTl contrary to the finds so far in 
the cemetery of the Awam Temple. Whereas the 
anthropomorphic portrayals in Marib are restricted 



to a limited number, the most varying groups can 
be found on the cemetery of Hayd ibn 'Aqll. Apart 
from reliefs with 50 and without profile portrayals 51 
also statuettes 52 , busts 53 and so-called eye stelae or 
here better face plaques 54 have been revealed. 

Should we recognise a typical -Qatabanian style< 
in these groups of objects, which are quite different 
from the Sabaean repertoire ? In view of the present 
status of research the answer to this question 
should rather be no than yes. The issue needs thor- 
ough clarification, if one takes the following expla- 
nations into consideration. 



* 7 Ibidem 168 with note 1. The publication by A.M. Honey- 
man of the so-called stone housings announced in this and 
which were found during the first campaign in Timna' 
never took place. 

'* Cleveland (1965) pi. 107 TC 1613. TC 1881 as complete 
examples of the -stone housings- even if there were no more 
sculptures in the niches or, as in the case of TC 1881 only a 
fragment still exists. 

" Compare Cleveland (1965) e.g. pi. 43 TC 1294. pi. 44 TC 
1307. pi. 46 f. 

so Ibidem pi. 42 TC 870. pi. 43 TC 1294. 

51 Ibidem pi. 46-50. 

" Ibidem pi. 28 f. 31 TC 1587. pi. 35. 36 TC 2064. 

" Ibidem pi. 41. 45. 51. 

" Ibidem pi. 36 TC 675. TC 504. TC 1574; pi. 37-39. 40 TC 
1709. TC 1744. These broad rectangular stones in fact do 
not represent stelae but reliefed slabs that were perhaps 
built into the facades of the tombs or set into some form of 
niches. Their design was based, however, on the actual eye 
stelae. 



38 



Iris Gerlach 





Fig. 8 Alabaster head with a flat back. Cemetery of the 

Awam Temple (Aw 00 B 1240). H: 14,2 cm; W: 12,1 cm; 

TH: 9 cm 



Fig. 9 Alabaster head of a woman. Cemetery of the 

Awam Temple (Aw 00 B 1239). H: 12 cm; W: 9 cm; 

TH: 6,1 cm 



Therefore eye or face stelae cannot be deter- 
mined until the last centuries B.C. with the immi- 
gration of an Arabic population ". It can be deter- 
mined that this form of tomb stela was taken over 
from North-West Arabia as new Arabian names 
are often mentioned on the South Arabian eye 
stelae. This means that the eye stelae constitute a 
form of tomb stelae which can be ascribed to a spe- 
cial ethnic group rather than be described as typi- 
cally 'Qatabanian'. Depicting the deceased in this 
type of stylised representation of the face is not 
only limited to the Qatabanian burial rites'"'. 
However, up to now there is only evidence in 
Timna' of the variation of the eye or face stelae 
as a broad rectangular slab. As material it was 
not alabaster that was used - as for almost all 
other sculptures from Timna' - but limestone. The 
stylised design of the faces quite clearly has the 
so-called eye stelae as its model and can there 
fore not be described as being genuinely Qaiaha- 
nian. 

Likewise the reliefs with portrayals in profile 
and statuettes with advanced plastic decorations 
can more probably be dated into the Middlc- 
Sabacan period. This is also suggested bv the in- 
scriptions of this period on the objects, lor chron- 
ological reasons these objects are less comparable 
with those of the Awam cemetery: In the last cen- 



turies B.C. the main period of occupation of the 
Awam cemetery was already over. 

However, on the other hand objects can also be 
found on the Awam cemetery which are well com- 
parable with the finds in Hayd ibn 'Aqll. Here, for 
example, two unusual alabaster heads can be men- 
tioned ; The one from the Awam cemetery was 
originally affixed in a niche, as it is testified by the 
flat preparation of the reverse (Fig. 9). The shapes 
of both faces are oval and worked in three dimen- 
sions, eyes, nose and ears are strongly modelled. 
Particularly striking is the design of the hairstyle. 
The long hair falls back tightly from the flat brow. 
It is drawn along behind the ears and comes to rest 
in thick knots at about the height ol the shoulders, 
which are not expressed in three dimensions. The 
hair is artistically stvlcd in curls. The hairstvlc can 



< Rohm. 1 .t penetration ui-s Arabes unmade* .iu Yemen, 
in: t . Robin (t\l ). I'Aralue antique de Karib'il i Mahomet, 

Kerne dll Monde MuMilin.ui el de la Mediterr.inee M 

1 1 'ml 'Hi 'ill., Seipel tip. tit. Ml no. Jf.4 with other 

liter atut'e, 

( omp.irc e.& the ditleienl suteinenls ol the origin ot the 

eve WeUe in Seipel ..p. en, (n. 1 1 ) All no. 2M (al-Jjwf), JJJ 

no >(>s (Shihwa). 

Cleveland (I'X.S) pi. 14 TV. ISK-). 



What is Sabaean Art? 



39 




cf^'-k- >•■■■■ '■»: 



Fig. 10 Engraved bas-relief of a mask on the wall of a 

tomb (Tomb 21, areal B at the cemetery of the Awam 

Temple) 



:■■>;:'>•".'■ ■■:..' <.'~V:- »,- 






'---^ • •,...■■..; .>.-:, w-"-::a 




i . £** 


■V.. :'.:'*' >Y f'£«£ V\ - ./M 




''£ 


-■-■' : <_ \ ?*"] ~ w? . 






■ '■■ -J- : ; S ***'■ - _3fv 

■ ;;';*•. ■„ * ■■■- ;*- ,--,■* ■■■ ■«••-' ■■■ 






" .-. —"• ;V ..1% 

.■■■-'••■ - - ak ■■■?: ■■-«- i -V>0 






V:.: -•■< ", - " •* ;; i^ " ^ V. 






j ;;."'.^"" ■'■•*-- •"-"' ■■'WSS't ''!?;)& 






■■•Si.'"': .'■'.' V -.-.•'.'*•"''. ■&*'■!$&& 


. "1 




fnC-:'-'' ' 4.- ''"'••-• ;r, '\ ■•:.!- '-o^^^ '" 








(■ '■• 


: -i: 


, v>*}" ' " .'' ',. ■,,./■•■* ''>"'- T" '£-'<> 


;•/»' 


:-^i 



Fig. 11 Part of a limestone slab from the National 
Museum Sana'a 



also be found on some engraved or reliefed heads 
on Tomb 21 on the Awam cemetery 58 (Fig. 10). The 
long hairstyle of the women ends to the left and 
right on the shoulder in a rounded, slightly thick- 
ening out mop of hair. The hairstyle of a woman 
depicted in profile on a limestone slab of unknown 
origin from the National Museum in Sana'a is simi- 
lar in shape 59 (Fig. 11). The similarities between the 
compared examples are, however, not only limited 
to the hairstyle: All the faces are depicted with full 
cheeks, the eyes and the chin are either plastically 
emphasized with a dimple in the middle or, in the 
case of the heads from the Awam cemetery, out- 
lined with scratched lines. The ears are in front of 
the hair which is depicted from the side. Only in 
the scratched heads of the Awam cemetery did the 
>stonemason< simplify the depiction method by 
setting them at the side above the styled hair. 

Plastically sculptured examples of this type of 
head are only known to us so far from the Sabaean 
and Qatabanian cemetery. For this reason we can- 
not determine whether these are typical stylistic 
features of Qatabanian or Sabaean art. One would 
tend to speak of a parallel development within 
these two caravan kingdoms. Beyond these two 
examples there are further signs that bear witness 
that - despite their independence of one another - 
both in Qataban as well as in Saba similar criteria 
influenced the production of art and the sense of 
style. 



Some bust-like figures were continually de- 
scribed as being pure -Qatabanian art« 60 . These 
busts made of alabaster can have a flat base with the 
inscription of names. Above the base arises the 
sketchily formed upper part of the body, made 
from one piece and with a slightly swelling breast. 
The arms lie parallel to the upper part of the body, 
the lower arms are bent and crossed in front of the 
stomach. Only the head can be fully plastically 
formed or is set off in a deep, very plastically 
carved relief against the background. It displays 
style elements of a more >naturalistic< use of 
forms and therefore enables a relatively late 
chronological classification. Up to now one piece 
of similar character has been found on the Awam 



58 Tomb 21 is dated in the 6 lh century B.C. due to the inscrip- 
tion and the foundation level on the natural rock and not 
like later tombs on sediments (see Gerlach [2002] 52 pi. 10). 
On the other hand it is not possible to say exactly when the 
reliefed or carved heads were installed (ibidem 52 f. with 
n. 92 pi. 10). It is noticeable that the names of the tomb 
owners mentioned in the inscription do not appear again on 
the heads with one exception only, so that we presume that 
these probably originated from a re-occupation of the 
tombs at a later stage. The fact that the tombs of the Awam 
cemetery were used time and time again is shown quite 
clearly by the excavation (ibidem 51 ff., in particular 54). 

s * W. Radt, Katalog der Staatlichen Antikensammlung von 
Sana'a' und anderer Antiken im Jemen (1973) 14 no. 58 
pi. 22. 

*° Cleveland (1965) pi. 44 TC 1307. pi. 45 TC 1557. 



40 



Iris Gerxach 




Fig. 12 Alabaster bust of a woman. Cemetery of the Awam Temple 
(Aw 01 F 44). H: 25,7 cm; W: 24,3 cm; TH: 7,1 cm 



cemetery (Fig. 12). As far as stylistic evaluation is 
concerned, the busts suggest a similar stage of 
development in comparison to the bust with the 
fully sculptured head from Timna' 61 . Unfortu- 
nately the head is missing from the example from 
the Awam cemetery which makes a comprehensive 
comparison difficult. Its inscription bears the name 
of a woman whose family is already often recorded 
in Marib, amongst others as the owner of palm 
gardens 62 . This record does not allow to interpret 
these busts as tomb monuments, which were built 
for people from Qataban who died in foreign 
regions. It is also just as unlikely that the Sabaeans, 
who were particularly traditional in their art pro- 
duction, chose typical tomb monuments of Qata- 
ban and especially when one considers that Qata- 
ban was not exactly connected with the kingdom 
of Saba by friendly bonds". The depiction of the 
deceased in the form of busts was certainly cus- 
tomary in Sabaean burial art. 

Also statues and statuettes of standing persons 
with arms bent are usually automatically ascribed 
to the Qatabanian cultural unit and understood as 
an expression of Qatabanian art". In this case too 



it is important to point out that an unfortunately 
very badly damaged fragment of the portrayal of a 
person made of alabaster with the hint of a bent 
arm has been preserved on the Sabaean cemetery 
(Fig. 13) and can certainly be ascribed to this 
group. Also in the series of depictions which tend 
to be rather untypical for Sabaean art is a funerary 
stela with a niche in which there is still a garment of 
an alabaster bust in the lower part (Fig. 14). Parts 
of the breast can be seen quite clearly but there is 
no indication at all of any arms folded beneath the 
breast. The fragment can, however, still be clearly 



Ibidem pi. 45 TC 1557. 

The processing and publication of the inscription is in the 
hands of N. Nebes and will be appearing in the series 
EFAH. The inscription on the bust is dated as a result of 
palaeographical comparisons at the 3 rd - 1" century B.C. and 
can therefore be classified chronologically parallel to the 
examples from Timna'. I would like to thank N. Nebes for 
pointing this out. 

Avaniini op. cit. (n. 20) 1 71 ; C. Robin, Qataban, in: Supple- 
ment au dictionnare dc la Bible (1977) 597 ff. 
See e.g. Seipel op. cit. cat. 404. 405; Cleveland (1965) pi. 31 
TC 1587. pi. 35 TC 2064. pi. 36 TC 2064. 



What is Sabaean Art? 



41 




Fig. 13 Fragment of an alabaster bust. Cemetery of the 

Awam Temple (Aw 98 B 135). H: 13 cm; W: 23,5 cm; 

TH; 12,6 cm 



classified as a bust and therefore typologically 
belongs to the series of the two examples from 
the Awam cemetery already mentioned. In this 
case too we are not talking about a »Qatabanian 
import*. These examples from the Sabaean cultural 
unit, of which only a few individual ones have 
become apparent so far, prove that at certain times, 
both in Qataban and in Saba very similar expres- 
sions of art must have existed. 

As a conclusion one can say that the few examples 
that have been presented here should on the one 
hand demonstrate the great differences in the art 
production of Hayd ibn 'Aqil, the cemetery of 
Timna', and the Awam cemetery, a burial place of 
Marib. On the other hand they emphasize the fact 
that at the present point in time we are still a long 
way from defining local traditions and therefore 
from being able to speak of local styles, for exam- 
ple of 'typical' Qatabanian or Sabaean art. One 
should therefore rather presume a similar attitude 
to art in the various caravan kingdoms within one 
period of time. The undeniable differences between 
Sabaean and Qatabanian art cannot be explained as 
being purely cultural but often chronological. The 
obvious differences are not substantiated in the 
style or the artistry, but in the choice of motifs in 
the figurative sense. As it looks at the moment, the 
stelae with bulls' heads 65 and the unornamented 
stelae on a base 66 are Qatabanian motifs, whereas 
the burial gifts often found in Marib such as terra- 
cotta figurines of women (Fig. 15) and dromedaries 
(Fig. 16) are not apparent in Hayd ibn 'Aqil. 

On the cemeteries of Timna' and Marib a large 
number of art products were found which are 
characteristic of both places such as a large number 
of miniature vessels, the busts or the way in which 




Fig. 14 Funerary stela with a fragment of an alabaster 

bust. Cemetery of the Awam Temple (Aw 99 B 764). 

H: 76 cm; W: max. 30; TH: 27 cm 



alabaster heads were designed. The great differ- 
ences, however, cannot be explained as originating 
from different local styles but in particular through 
being of different chronological categories. 

It is true that the publications on the cemetery 
of Hayd ibn 'Aqil still do not facilitate any distinct 
datings so far, but can at least be orientated on a 
few definite aspects. The burial site was probably 
used during the whole of the period of settlement 



Cleveland (1965) pi. 64-67. 
Ibidem pi. 70-77. 



42 



Iris Gerlach 







Fig. 15 Terracotta figurine <•! .1 woman. Cemetery <■! the Awam Temple (Aw 3C i» 125 

Scale: 2 1 




Fig. \<> Ti 1 1 1. otta figui im ol a d 1 dai 1 ' 

..I 1I1, Awam Ternpli (A« 98 A 2248) 1 1 

Vv i,4 ,1,1. I 11,1 ,,„ 



of Timn.r. i. e. at least from the r centur) B.< to 
tin' 2' centur) A. I). It appears, however, that the 
main period oi occupation JiJ noi begin until the 
time when the Qataban had risen to be the most 
powerful kingdom in the region and lasts until fai 
into the period >»t its decline. The boundaries in 
nine are particular!) well testified b) numerous 
imported pieces, although exact datings are onrj 
possible i" .1 limited extent even in Marib because 
ul the extensive recent damage i«« the Aw .1111 ceme 

tery, it can bi rded that the main pei iod ol 

pin. >n was between the 6 and J centur) 

11 < and that the cemcterj ss.is used considerabl) 
less aftei tli. 11 According t" tins the main periods 
ul occupation ul both cemeteries are different and 
overlap onl) in the 4 and 3 centur) Hi Diffei 
ences in the production ol .m must therefore be 
1. ul, 1 chronological because the) original!) come 
from .1 different local art tradition 1 >n the othet 



What is Sabaean Art? 



43 



hand, we must not completely eliminate the possi- 
bility that there are local specialities in the art crea- 
tion of South Arabia. After all, for example, the 
great differences in the Sabaean and the Qataba- 
nian inscriptions are adequately well-known. In 
the end also the architecture of both cemeteries has 
no similarity of both cultures 67 . But it is the com- 
mon features in their material cultures that are 
predominant, not the differences. It seems to be a 
matter of top priority in an examination of the 
history of art of the region, to make up a conclu- 
sive typology and chronology. Not until this stage 



has been completed can we devote ourselves to 
issues of local style in South Arabia. However, 
there is already evidence that postulated differ- 
ences are far more seldom than was presumed up to 
now. 



Address: 

Dr. Iris Gerlacb, Deutscbes Archaologisches Institut, 
Orient-Abteilung, Aufienstelle Sana'a, do Ausviar- 
tiges Amt, Deutsche Botschaft Sana'a, D-11013 Ber- 
lin, daisanaa@y.net.ye 



» Ibidem 173 ff. plan 1. 2. 



44 Iris Gbrlach 



jjJI .fib VJJ* tf^ P*^' 0** f»l J»3-l ^ *-ijx31l JSUi. 

0>Bi*so^J W** 
(Iris Gerlach) 



:ua1* 



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»j» ^ Lu-, V 0«1I Jla- (> iliU^^ jSi i—uiVl yi UUi jiJll o** ' y»-JI i-^-VI AiJai iiLUI LjLiill j 
^j yiJa-JI ljjLiVI ^l>u Je. JjShil J9J 0* MJ<JI J^b u>a. ^i i^sill i*ULu]l ^Aj J^ijJI CajS ji JUS 

j»j .i^jj-II U^ Jjua^l ^JLiall ^otooll <j*" uJf!J <U-ij*ll '*■'-" » tj* ijji Ju<j J li» ljU* JjLa^j 

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pl_)=Jj 4j«Ujll (JaJ^jH (J" IaLu 43 jj** JJC ^Jlll aJj£j pJJJ t ^fjLiot ^JJjLli j ^jAjl ^^-« Olj A^aS 4jjUU 

jSlj > <_ijLiSH ^i ^la^ll 4jll£ll Uauljj 5yi l a -»j. hj5 i£u uiUSjSVI ^xi^ ^i 0"" On *A^ CjUOlSil tiBjkj 

ja liJiiiij ^j jM os! 3 ^ 1 1^ ■*=»» ■*■'-'•" ^i jjiiJi iiin-Ji %±ulujIi fijiiuVi cu ja u>uijj ^sl 't-.-'-j* c^j 



Holger Hitgen 

»THE AGE OF THE FIGHTING KINGDOMS* 
in South Arabia (1. Century B.C. -3. Century A.D.) 

Aspects of the Material Culture in a Period of Change 



Introduction 

In the South Arabian archaeology it is often cus- 
tomary when dating find objects to adapt the 
chronological system used by epigraphists. In the 
meantime this system has been recognised in its 
elemental form 1 and is particularly suitable for art 
objects which have inscriptions on them such as 
sculptures and reliefs for which we still do not 
have any definite systems of stylistic development 
to date 2 . As is well-known, the epigraphic chro- 
nology system is divided into three main groups, 
an »old« or » classical* period, which occurs in 
the time from 7 th to the end of the 2 nd century 
B.C., into a intermediate* period, which is dated 

Apart from the abbreviations suggested in ABADY 9 (2002) 

245 ff . the following are used: 

Paris Catalogue Institut du Monde Arabe (ed.), Yemen au 
pays de la reine de Saba', exhibition cat. 
Paris (1997) 

Vienna Catalogue W. Seipel (ed.), Jemen. Kunst und 
Archaologie im Land der Konigin von 
Saba', exhibition cat. Vienna (1998) 

Munich Catalogue Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde Miin- 
chen (ed.), Im Land der Konigin von Saba. 
Kunstschatze aus dem antiken Jemen, ex- 
hibition cat. Munich (1999) 

Sources of illustrations: Fig. 1 : DAI, H. Hitgen - U. Wiegmann. 
- Fig. 2 a. b: J.-F. Breton, CRAIBL 2000, 858 fig. 5. - Fig. 2 c: 
J.-F. Breton - A. M. McMahon - D. A. Warburton, AAE 9, 1998, 
96 fig. 3. - Fig. 2 d. 9; J.-F. Breton (ed.), Fouilles de Shabwa III 
(1998) 44 fig. 1; 53 fig. 2. - Fig. 3. 14: A. de Maigret, Arabia Felix 
(1996) Taf. VI; 307 fig. 68. - Fig. 4: DAI, B. Vogt. - Fig. 5: J.-F. 
Breton (ed.), Fouilles de Shabwa II (1992) 156 fig. 22. - Fig. 6: 
J.-F. Breton et al., Syria 74, 41 fig. 3. - Fig. 7: DAI/DBM, 
J.Heckes-A.Fengler.-Fig. 8. 15:DAI,J. Kramer.-Fig.10.il: 
DAI, I. Gerlach - B. Vogt. - Fig. 12: J.-F. Breton - M. A. Ba- 
faqfli, Tresors du Wad? Dura* (1993) fig. d. - Fig. 13 a. b: A. V. 



Sedov-P. A. Griaznevich (ed.), Raybun Settlement II (1996) 152 
fig. 8 pi. CXXIV. - Fig. 16: W. Daum (ed.), Jemen (1987) 52. - 
Fig. 17. 18. 20 a. b: Vienna Catalogue 88 no. 20. 21; 388 no. 461; 
391 no. 464. - Fig. 19: K. Weidemann, Konige aus dem Jemen 
(1983) 7, 14. - Fig. 21-23: DAI. 

Apart from small changes the text is similar to the lecture held at 
the Rencontres Sabeennes 6 in Berlin. Due to the lecture charac- 
ter of the text, ideas and methods of argumentation are kept to a 
ininimum, some in a simplified form. Some sections need more 
detailed explanation which will be offered at a later stage. Never- 
theless individual aspects are already touched on the footnotes 
and will be discussed in more detail later. 

1 After the lengthy conflict between the supporters of the 
»short« (incl. J. Pirenne, Paleographie des inscriptions 
sudarabes, Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse 
Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kun- 
sten van Belgie. Klasse der Letteren. Verhandeling nr. 26 
[1956]) and the »long« chronology (e.g. H. von Wissmann, 
Die Geschichte des Sabaerreiches und der Feldzug des 
Aelius Gallus, ANRW II 9, 1 [1976] 320 ff.) it appears that an 
agreement has been met in favour of the »long« version 
which corresponds best to the archaeological data. A sum- 
mary of the conflict seen through the eyes of an archaeolo- 
gist: K. Schippmann, Geschichte der altsudarabischen 
Reiche (1998) 32 ff. The basis of the chronology continues 
to be formed by a modified palaeographical model by 
Pirenne only with other absolute darings. Cf. Ch. Robin, 
Die Grundlagen der Chronologie Altsiidarabiens und ihre 
Probleme, Vienna Catalogue 71 ff. 

2 Unfortunately in the present South Arabian archaeology 
almost no importance is placed on art-historical questions. 
Therefore one very rarely finds, e.g. that findings are dated 
by their archaeological context or via style analyses. If pos- 
sible one relies entirely on palaeographical arguments. In the 
few art-historical studies that have appeared recendy - in 
particular S. Antonini, La statuaria sudarabica in pietra, 
Repertorio iconografico sudarabico 1 (2001) should be men- 
tioned - in my opinion it is already noticeable that a relative 
chronology as well as an exact absolute chronology cannot 
be achieved alone through the palaeography of the few ob- 
jects bearing an inscription. 



46 



Holger Httgen 



between the 1 st century B.C. and the 3 rd century 
A.D. and a »late« period which extends up to the 
time when the South Arabian script was abandoned 
during the 6 th century A.D. 3 . Ch. Robin and 
B. Vogt first replaced or rather supplemented this 
sober and less expressive terminology in the cata- 
logue for the Paris Yemen Exhibition in 1997 with 
a historic component. In their descriptions they 
designate the individual ages by using the most im- 
portant political terms as key words : Thus the 
»classical« period becomes the »age of the caravan 
kingdoms«, for which A. F. L. Beeston had previ- 
ously made the term »sayhadic« known 5 , the 
»intermediate« period becomes the »age of the 
fighting kingdoms* and the »late« period the 
»Himyarite age«. 

If one disregards the historic or epigraphic chro- 
nology and regards archaeology, then it becomes 
apparent that there is already wide knowledge of 
several periods of the historic, ancient South Ara- 
bian era, other eras however still more or less rep- 
resent a terra incognita. In particular the research 
into the »caravan kingdoms* has been able to 
record enormous increases in knowledge due to 
the numerous excavations over the past few 
decades 6 , whereby it was possible, due to, amongst 
other things, the excavations in Yala, to set a proto- 
historic phase, i. e. the formative age of the caravan 
kingdoms, before the historic age of the Ancient 
South Arabia 7 . On the other hand there has been 
much less research into the two last South Arabian 
ages. It is in particular the Himyarite age that from 
an archaeological point of view leaves almost all 
questions unanswered. Knowledge of this era has 
only so far been derived from inscriptions 8 , a few 
Graeco-Roman sources and numerous architec- 
tural features such as columns, capitals and reliefs 
which, however, have come upon us almost with- 
out any archaeological context 9 . 

Also the previous era, there has only been very 
little research into »age of the fighting kingdoms* 
so far. From the results of the few excavations that 
involve this age, characteristic features can already 
be derived which make it plausible to speak not 
only in a political sense of an own age, but also with 
reference to the material evidence of the culture. 

A material stocktaking of this period seems to 
me to make sense even at this early stage, as in ear- 
lier research projects by the Oriental Institute of 
Chicago in the Dhamar region chronologically dif- 



ferent emphases «ire placed and the last two An- 
cient South Arabian ages, the intermediate and the 
late ages, are compounded into one 10 : After the 

3 The three great phases of the ancient South Arabian inscrip- 
tion is preceded by a formative phase from around 1200 B.C. 
and the monumental inscriptions by an >archaic« phase from 
about the V^ century B.C. Cf. Robin foe. cit. The youngest 
known inscription to date (CIH 325) is dated at around 
560 A.D. Cf. W.W. Mullet, CIH 325: Die jungite datierte 
sabaische Inschrift, in: Etudes sud-arabes. Recueil offen a 
Jacques Ryckmans. Publications de l'insritut orientahste de 
Louvain 39 (1991) 117ff. 

* Ch. Robin, La chronologic et ses problemes, in: Paris 
Catalogue 60 ff. with period charts 63. Also cf. B. Vogt- 
Ch. Robin, L'unite culturelle de I'Arabie meridionale, in: 
Paris Catalogue 223 ff. 

' A. F. L. Beeston, Apologia for ■Sayhadio, PSAS 17, 1987, 13 f. 

6 The exhibition catalogues of Paris (1997), Vienna (1998) and 
Rome (2000) provide the best insight into the current status 
of research. Here the current intensive research activity on 
the one hand in the field of prehistory and on the other band 
in the field of the cultures of the caravan kingdoms becomes 
apparent. 

7 The main material for this was provided by the excavations 
in Yala. Cf. A. de Maigret, The Sabaean Archaeological 
Complex in the Wad! Yala (Eastern Hawlan at-TiyaL Yemen 
Arab Republic): A Preliminary Report. IsMEO (1988). The 
results were able to verify individual indications as to a 
chronological placing of the caravan kingdoms already in the 
late 2 nd or early l n millennium B.C. in the case of other exca- 
vations (Hajar bin Humayd). Other excavations, eg. in 
Raybun or in Marib confirm the chronological estimation. 

1 Thanks to the numerous dated inscriptions one can speak in 
this period of a chronology which is certain at least in its 
essential features. Cf. Ch. Robin, op.cit. 71 ff. 

' Cf. e.g. the Himyaritic objects in: P. Costa, Antiquities from 
Zafar (Yemen), AION 33, 1973, 185 ff.; idem. Antiquities 
from Zafar (Yemen) II, AION 36, 1976, 445 ff.; idem. The 
pre-islamic Antiquities at the Yemen National Museum 
(1978); W. Radt, Katalog der Staatlichen Antikensammlung 
von Sana'a' und anderer Antiken im Jemen (1973). It can be 
hoped that the more recent research by the Oriental Institute, 
Chicago in the Dhamar region (T.J. Wilkinson and M. Gib- 
son) as well as by the University of Heidelberg (P. Yule) in 
Zafir will at least result in Himyarite finds from archaeologi- 
cal contexts which extend beyond merely ceramics. 
10 Beginning with the theoretical, rather academically striking 
foundation of the kingdom of Himyar around 1 10 B.C. up 
to the beginning of the Islam in South Arabia the chronolog- 
ical sequence is described in general as the "Himyarite Age*. 
Cf. M. Gibson-T. J. Wilkinson, The Dhamir Plain, Yemen: 
A Preliminary Study of the Archaeological Landscape, PSAS 
25, 1995, 159ff. with tab. 2.; T.J. Wilkinson-C. Edens- 
M. Gibson, The Archaeology of the Yemen High Plains: A 
Preliminary Chronology, AAE 8, 1997, 99ff. esp. 129f.; 
T. Wilkinson, Settlement, Soil Erosion and Terraced Agricul- 
ture in Highland Yemen: a Preliminary Statement, PSAS 29, 
1999, 189 fig. 5. 



»The Age of the Fighting Kingdoms* 



47 



Bronze Age, in the highlands of Dhamar follows 
the Iron Age. The use of this key word »Iron Age* 
suggests that in the highlands of the Yemen there 
was another, unknown culture during the 1" mil- 
lennium B.C. But at least politically speaking this 
seems doubtful: The inscriptions familiar from the 
highlands and in general the historic information 
from Ancient South Arabian inscriptions show 
clearly that this region too was under the dominion 
of various caravan kingdoms 11 , whose names are 
indeed known and on the whole possessed the 
same culture. Of course there are differences in the 
material characteristics of the various regions, but 
they also have many things in common 12 . The dif- 
ferences recorded so far, in my opinion, have their 
origins in local circumstances such as climatic and 
geographic deviations 13 , but are not an expression 
of differing cultures. The material common fea- 
tures in combination with the historic informa- 
tion derived from inscriptions, make it extremely 
difficult to separate the South Arabian highlands 
completely from the caravan kingdoms as far as 
their cultural history is concerned 1 *. The use of the 
term »Iron Age« becomes even more confusing 
because it does not apply generally to all Iron Age 
cultures in South Arabia. Instead, the historically 
better-known Iron Age culture of Himyar is de- 
scribed as the »Himyarite Time* in contrast to 
the »Iron Age* of the 1 st millennium B.C. The 
change of one age to the other is set at the start of 
the Himyarite calendar around 110 B.C. On the 
other hand, the last ancient era of South- West Ara- 
bia ends with the beginning of Islam 15 . 

The following is intended to show on the one hand 
that, with the complete takeover of power by the 
Himyars (king Shammar Yuhar'ish) over the whole 
of South Arabia at the end of the 3 rd century 
A.D. 16 , there was also a distinct change in the 
material features of the culture, and on the other 
hand that the characteristics of the material culture 
during the »age of the fighting kingdoms* are not 
only typical for the new rising powers in the high- 
lands of Yemen, but are also carried by the old 

11 The existence of indigenous, i. e. not ancient South Arabian, 
sections of the population during the 1 K millennium B.C. 
cannot be proved for the southern highlands. On the other 
hand there are reports by Karib'il Watar (Gl 1000A) that 
large areas of the highlands of South Arabia fell under 
Sabaean or Qatabanian rule at the latest at the beginning of 



the 7^ century B.C. Compare finally N. Nebes, Der grofie 
Tatenbericht des Karib'il Watar in Sirwab^ in: Munich Cata- 
logue 66 ff. Other inscriptions in the highlands themselves 
confirm this: cf. e.g. RES 3858 (Jabal al-'Awd): N. Rho- 
dokanakis, Katabanische Texte zur Bodenwirtschaft (2. 
Folge) SBWien 198, 1922, 41 ff. Regarding the dominion of 
the caravan kingdoms in the highlands of the Yemen during 
the 1" millennium B.C. compare also J.-F. Breton, L'Arabie 
heureuse au temps de la reine de Saba. VTII'-I* siecles avant 
J.-C. (1998) 199 ff. or R.D. Tindel, The Rise of the Himyar 
and the Origins of Modern Yemen, in: N. Nebes (ed.), Ara- 
bia Felix. Beitrage zur Sprache und Kultur des vorislam- 
ischen Arabien. Festschrift W.W. Miiller (1994) 275. 
" Differences are emphasized particularly in the production of 
ceramics, but likewise also the features that they have in 
common with the ceramics of the caravan kingdoms are de- 
scribed (T.J. wllkinson-C. Edens-M. Gibson, The Ar- 
chaeology of the Yemen High Plains: A Preliminary Chro- 
nology, AAE 8, 1997, 130). Furthermore, according to the 
latest research results a clear break or rather an obvious 
change in the production of ceramics around 100 B.C. (ibi- 
dem) seems recognisable only to a certain extent (T.J. 
Wilkinson-C. Edens, Survey and Excavation in the Central 
Highlands of Yemen: Results of the Dhamar Survey Project, 
1996 and 1998, AAE 10, 1999, 8). 

13 Obvious differences that one can see, e.g. E. Barbanes, Do- 
mestic and Defensive Architecture on the Jemen Plateau, 
AAE 11, 2000, 212 f. such as in the town walls of the Sabae- 
ans in the region at the periphery of the desert and those of 
the highlands, can be explained by the completely differing 
climatic and geological conditions. However the different 
types of outcrops have a not inconsiderable influence on the 
possibilities in the design of architecture. 

14 As far as I know there is, in particular from an art-historic 
point of view, - a much clearer piece of evidence of cultural 
identity as e.g. ceramics - no material group that contrasts 
iconographically or iconologically against that of the desert 
periphery regions. So the numerous representations of bulls 
and ibexes therefore indicate a common cultural horizon. 

15 The use of differently rating termini appears to me to be 
methodically problematic (Iron Age: archaeological/material 
in contrast to the Himyarite Age: political/historical) in a 
chronological system. Likewise, in my opinion a designation 
as »Himyarite* for a period of 700 years, from 110 B.C. to 
the beginning of Islam can convince neither for historical 
nor for culturally historical (see below) reasons. Also the 
central highlands of South Arabia were dominated by vari- 
ous powers up to the final Himyarite dominance around 
300 A.D. Apart from Himyar and Saba here numerous 
smaller highland dynasties play a role. A rough division into 
two parts of the historic South Arabian age, such as perhaps 
Ch. Robin (Vienna Catalogue 74 f. ) proposed, refers to basic 
social changes, but less to a change of political actors. 

16 Cf. e.g. W. W. Muller, Survey of the History of the Arabian 
Peninsula from the First Century A.D. to the Rise of Islam, 
in: Studies in the History of Arabia II. Pre-Islamic Arabia. 
Proceedings of the Second Internationa] Symposium on 
Studies in the History of Arabia, n*-^ April 1979 (1984) 
127. 



48 



HOLGER HlTGEN 



caravan kingdoms on the edge of the Ramlat as- 
Sab'atayn who were losing power and were dis- 
solving. 

The most important archaeological facts about 
the »age of the fighting kingdoms" are being pro- 
vided in the highlands of Yemen by research inten- 
sified in particular most recently in the region of 
Dhamar 17 , the excavations on the Jabal al-'Awd l! 
and on the Jabal Hajjaj", both in the region of the 
Wadi Bana, in Kharibat al-Ahjar 20 , to the east of 
Dhamar, and in Sha'fib at Sana'a 21 . In the area 
of the Ramlat as-Sab'atayn the excavations in 
Timna' 22 , Shabwa 23 and Hajar am-Dhaybiyya in 
the Wadi Dura' 2 * are particularly significant. The 
results of the excavations of the ports of Qani' 25 
and Khor Rori 26 , which were just flourishing dur- 
ing that era, should subsequently not play a great 
role although they, as well as the other, partly not 
yet localised ports of Aden, Ocelis and Musa are 
indirectly an important cause of the extreme 
change in the South Arabian society, which com- 
mences towards the end of the 1 st millennium B.C. 



Architecture 

Beginning with the architecture, there is here the 
least evidence of drastic changes compared with 
the age of the caravan kingdoms. On the one hand 
this may be connected with the low number of 
known monuments of this period, but on the other 
hand also with an only slow change. It is noticeable 
that the individual regions have maintained special 
characteristics in their building constructions which 
is closely connected with the building materials 
available locally. In Shabwa and in the Hajar am- 
Dhaybiyya 27 there are numerous half-timbered 
constructions. In Timna' they often continue to use 
granite 28 , which is only very difficult to process, 
and in the highlands, e.g. on the Jabal al-'Awd, 
they used the only coarsely hewn volcanic rock of 



17 T. J. Wilkinson - C. Edens, Survey and Excavation in the 
Central Highlands of Yemen: Results of the Dhamar Survey 
Project, 1996 and 1998, AAE 10, 1999, 1 ff. with further 
Literature in note 1; cf. also Barbancs op.cit. 207 ff. 

lg B. Vogt, Ein Schatzfund und seine unabschbaren Folgen - 
Alpinarchaologische Forschungen auf dcm Jabal al-'Awd, 
Jemen Report 30/1, 1999, 5 ff.; H. Hitgen, Jabal al-'Awd - 
Ein qatabanisch-himyaritischer Fundplatz in den Bergen 



von Ibb, in: B. Vogt»I. Gerlach-H. Hitgen, Die Erfor- 
schung Altsudarabiens. Das Deutsche Archaologische Insti- 
tut Sana'a auf den Spuren des Sabaerherrschers Karib'il 
Watar, NBA 15, 1998/99, 144ff.; idem, Jabal al-'Awd: Ein 
Fundplatz der Spatzeit im Hochland des Jemen, in: Munich 
Catalogue 247 ff. 
" The excavation on the Jabal Hajjaj is a project by the Yemen- 
ite Antiquity Authorities GOAM under the direction of 
Ahmed Shamsan. Up to now two campaigns have been car- 
ried out in the early Himyaritic settlement that ties to the 
north of the Wadi Bana only a few kilometres away from 
the Himyaritic capital £afar. 

20 A. de Maigret, IsMEO Archaeological Activities in the 
Yemen Arab Republic, 1985, EW 35, 1985, 355 ff.; idem, 
1986, EW 36, 1986, 377 ff. - Cf. also S. Amonini, Oggetri 
d'importazione dale tombe di Kharabat al-Ahjar (Dhamar), 
Yemen 1, 1992, 3 ff. 

21 B. Vogt - I. Gerlach, Bericht uber die Notgrabungen im 
Friedhof Sa'ub (Sana'a), in: ABADY 9 (2002) 189 ff. 

22 Before the recently begun excavations by de Maigret in 
Timna' some already early archaeological research was car- 
ried out there which, however, had far too tittle been 
published. Cf. G.W. van Beek, Recovering the Ancient 
Civilization of Arabia, The Biblical Archaeologist 15, 1952, 
2 ff.; R. L. Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian Necropo- 
lis. Objects from the Second Campaign (1951) in Timna' 
Cemetery, PAFSM IV (1965); cf. also, however, e.g. J.-F. 
Breton et al., Le grand monument de Tamna' (Yemen): Ar- 
chitecture et identification, Syria 74, 1997, 33 ff. and re- 
cently summarizing W. D. Glanzman, Tamna': Glanz und 
Untergang einer Hauptstadt, in: Munich Catalogue 189ff. 

21 See in particular the series of publications Fouilles de 
Shabwa I — III: J. Pirenne, Les temoins ecrits de la region de 
Shabwa et I'histoire (1990); J.-F. Breton (ed.), Shabwa. Rap- 
ports preliminaires (1991); idem (ed.), Architecture et tech- 
niques de construction (1998). 

2 * J.-F. Breton-M.A. Bafaqih, Tresors du Wadi Dura' 
(Republique du Yemen): Fouille franco - yemenite de la 
necropole de Hajar am-Dhaybiyya (1993); J.-F. Breton- 
A. McMahon-D. Warburton, Two Seasons at Hajar am- 
Dhaybiyya (Yemen), AAE 9, 1998, 90ff. 

2> A. V. Sedov, Der Hafen von Qani' - Das Tor zum Jemen in 
fruhnachchristlicher Zeil, in: Vienna Catalogue 275 ff. with 
further literature. 

26 F. P. Albright, The American Archaeological Expedition in 
Dhofar, Oman, 1952-1953, PAFSM VI (1982); note the lat- 
est works by the University of Pisa: A. Avanzini, La Mis- 
sione Italiana nel Dhofar, Egitto e vicino Oriente 19, 1996, 
1 8 1 ff.; A. Avanzini - R. Orazi, The Construction Phases of 
Khor Rori's Monumental Gate, AAE 12, 2001, 249ff. 

" Whereas the half-timbered buildings in Shabwa mostly 
only have a limestone foundation (e.g. J.-F. Breton, L' Ara- 
bic heureuse au temps de la reine de Saba. VIU'-I" siicies 
avantJ.-C. [1998] 106), in Hajar am-Dhaybiyya there is the 
half-timbered superstructure made of wood and clay brick 
on a granite foundation (Breton -McMahon- Warburton 
op. cit. 94 ff.). 

21 Granite is used, e.g. in Timna' and Hajar am-Dhaybiyya 
(ibidem 94 f.). 



-The Age of the Fighting Kingdoms- 



♦9 



EUU 




Fig. 1 Jabal al-'Awd, building 1 and 2, area 3 



that area . Even the more simple houses were 
several storeys high 10 . It seems that it was custom- 
ary to use the ground floor for household purposes, 
e.g. it accommodated storage rooms, kitchen, util- 
ity and partly sanitary facilities, whereas the upper 
floor or floors were reserved for living only 31 . It 
appears to be a typical feature that the utility 
rooms were grouped around central corridors 
which formed the entrance area. These can divide 
the ground plan of the building either lengthwise 
or crosswise. There are examples of both possibili- 
ties on the Jabal al-'Awd (Fig. 1). Examples of a 
corresponding layout can be found in numerous 
sites in South Arabia, not only in the highlands but 
also in the regions on the periphery of the desert, 
e.g. in Timna', Wadi Dura' and Shabwa 3J (Fig. 2), 
However this division principle is not an innova- 
tion of that time, as it could already be found in the 
8 lh century B.C. as for example in -House A" in 
Yala" (Fig. 3). 

If we look on the other hand at more elaborately 
designed building and representation construc- 
tions, distinct reforms meet the eye. More in- 
tensely from the P l century B.C. onwards, these 
buildings have large courtyards in front of them, 
surrounded by arcades. These form the entrance 
areas at the same time and also are regarded, at least 
partly, as public areas. In the classical period there 
is only one forerunner to dale which corresponds 
to this construction principle, the Bar'an Temple ot 
Marib {Fig. 4) in its extension phase dating from 
the 5 th century B.C 14 . In this period ol rime il is a 
singular phenomenon. In the -age ot the fighting 



kingdoms--, however, we can find this type of build- 
ing spread over the whole of South-West Arabia. 

M On the- Jabal al-'Awd eg. the majority of the buildings, 

especially residential and purpose-built constructions, is 
built of local vulcanic outcrops. Only a temple and a monu- 
mental, representative complex of buildings provide evi- 
dence of carefulb' cut limestone blocks and other building 
materials that presumably had to be transported to the site 
with great difficulty. Similar features seem to apply also to 
the other sites in the South Arabian highlands 
,: With regard to the desert periphery regions Breton, in: J.-F. 
Breton, L'architecture domestiquc en Arabic mendionalc 
du VII' siede avani au IV sieclc aprcs. Diss Paris 1 (1997) 

1MH., trcais buildings with several storeys in great detail. 

Foi the highlands J. e.g. II. Fiitgen, Jabal al-'Awd - Inn 

Fundplat/ der Spat/eit im Jemcn, in: Munich' atalogUC 2^3. 

11 E.g. ibidem 244 f. 

" As examples for Timna' the houses B (Yafash) and C (J.-F. 
Breton et al. op. cit. 33 ff.) can be mentioned, for Hajai 
am-Dhavbiyv.i the >Maison principals (Breton— McMa- 
hon- VX'arburton op.cn. 94ff.) as well as for Shal 
-Building 72- (J.-F. Breton, Les bailments 72 et 73, m | .-[•. 
Breton [etL], Fouilles de Shabwa III [1998] J9fl I 
A. de Maigret-C. Robin, Les fouilles italiennes de Y.il.i 
(Yemen du Nord): nouvellea donnees sur la chronologic de 
I'Arabie du Sud preislamiques, ( RAIBI 1989, 278 ff. 

M B. V'ogt, Der Almaqah-Tempel VOO Bar'an I'Arsh Bilqis), m: 

\ ienna Catalogue 219 ff.; B. Vogi - W. 1 lerberg- N Rdring, 
Arsh Bilqis* Der rempcl des Almaqah von Bar'an m 

Marib (2000); J. Schmidt, Tempe! und Heiligtumei in 
Siidarabien. Zu den materiellen und rormalen Strukturen 

der S.ikralbaukunst, NBA 14. I'"'" 98, 20 ff. -The temple 
building in al-Hamid il hall <-t the 2' centurv B.C.) 
appears in have a sinnl.n la) oul. The courtyard and gallcrv 

area surrounding the central budding are not illustrated in 

the literature that has been published SO tar. Cl. C. Phillips. 

rVl I iaiind a Route to the KeJ Sea?, in A Avanzi 
Profumi d Ai i 



5C 



I Iolgi n lliii. i v 




/ 



*< 




Fig. -a Tirana", bouse B 



i 




Am Dhaybiyya fWadi I »ura 
•maison principalc 



i ' 
Fig. -I> Timna", hi 




Shabwa, building 71 




Fig, \ Yala, housi \ 



■Thl Af.L oi thl Fighting Kingdoms- 



51 




Fig. 4 M.inh, temple of Bar'an 



52 



HOLGER HlTGEN 



Fig. 5 Shabwa, palace 




The royal palace in Shabwa 35 (Fig. 5) is built 
according to this design principle and likewise the 
»TTI« in Timna' (Fig. 6), a building whose func- 
tion is still controversial to this day 36 . There the 
building, the origins of which date back to the 8 lh 
century B.C. 37 , was augmented considerably later 
by a courtyard surrounded by an arcade, the whole 
of which formed the entrance area. A further 
building with corresponding layout which dates not 
earlier than late 2 nd century B.C. is currently being 
excavated in Sirwah. This is suspected to be - as, 
amongst others, one inscription suggests - an ad- 
ministrative building 3 ' (Fig. 7). The sanctuary of 
Huqqa 3 ' dating from 1" century B.C. or the 1" 
century A.D. in the highlands of Sana'a shows that 
this type of construction was also used for temples. 
But not only official buildings were constructed 



according to this arrangement but also other build- 
ings that could be most likely described as pres- 
tigious residences. This applies both to the high- 
lands of Yemen as well as to the core area of the 
caravan kingdoms. Examples can be found in the 
representation building (Area 1, House 1) on the 



" J. Seigne, Le chateau royal de Shabwa. Le bailment, archi- 
tecture, techniques de construction et restitutions, in: J.-F. 
Breton (ed.), Fouilles de Shabwa II (1991) Miff. 

" Cf. last J.-F. Breton et al., Syria 74, 1997, 33 ff. on the 
present status of discussion accompanied by further litera- 
ture. 

" G.W. van Beck, The Biblical Archaeologist 15, 1952, 2ff. 
Also sec Breton et al. op. cit. 33 ff. 

" Personal comment by N. Nebei (Jena). 

" C. Rathjens - H. von Wissmann, Rathjens - v. wlssmannsche 
Siidarabienreise II. Vorislamische Alierauner (1932) 27 ff. 



I in \'.i ot the Fighting Kingdoms- 



53 




Fig. 6 Timna', building TT1 



Jabal al-'Awd 40 (Fig. 8), in which only part of the 
building has been excavated so far, on the Jabal 
Hajjaj and in the -Building 74- (Fig. 9) about in the 
centre of Shabwa 41 . All these last-mentioned build- 
ings date back to the first centuries A.D. 

Apart from the appearance of the t\ pe ol room 
known as an "arcade-surrounded courtyard' in 
particular the decoration of the buildings change 
drastically. Whereas before a canonical application 
of kinds ol decoration which were restricted to 
very few types, was t\ pica] for the decoration of 
the buildings, the decoration possibilities in build 
ing constructions suddenly multiply. Apart from 
the decoration elements which were obligator) foi 
nearly all buildings, such as the ibex and antelope 
friezes, we End, for example, figurated reliefs and 



wall paintings such as on the courtyard pillars and 
balustrades in the palace of Shabwa 4 "', wine creeper 
friezes or even purely ornamental rhombus-shaped 
inlay work tor the wall panelling at the Jabal al- 
'Awd and on the Jabal Hajjaj. But the innovation 
most noticeable visually is the gradual abandon- 
ment of pillars, rectangular in cross section, with 
then linear shaped capitals. In particular in the 
building ot courtyards octagonal or multi-facetted 



' Hitgen, op en 2491 

I Brctc Le 74 i I I Breton (ed.), I ouilles 

bwa 111 I 1998 
1 >n thi [i >>t the pahuL' ct. K Audouin, s^ulp 

luro ci peintures du chateau royal do Shabwa, in: ibidem !I 

I '''M I J 



54 



Hi'l GEB HlTGEN 




Sirwah, 'administrative building 



columns were already used in the 1 century B.C. 
Thev especially liked to experiment with the capi- 
tals using the most varying shapes, ranging from 
very different ornamental designs to leaf-orna- 
mented capitals . Altogether the building decora 
turns ol that time are characterised b) theii enor 
muus variety and therefore give each building its 
own individual appearance which was noi achieva 
hie with the obligator) usi ol a limited range ol 
shapes as was the practise befort 



BlJKlAI < I SIMM'. 

Lei us now turn tn an area ol South Arabia I 

i lui in;.; ill. agi ol 1 1 j. fighting kingdoms- 

which is better documented 44 : First there is a great 
diversity in the burial customs ol thai age, wh< n b) 

eve tin sin s n h'u h li< gcographii .ill\ neai i<> 

ea< li other, quite diffi rem prat tices be ppai 

-Hi U is < asiesi t< i desi i ibe w hat is noi appai em in 
South Arabia, i.e. thi cremation oi the deceased. 
( Otherwise nearly everything is recorded 



It is tnw thai also the 1 ' millennium B.C. shows 
evidence of a broad range of differing burial rites, 
hut all these involve multiple or collective burials. 
Whether we are talking about the cave burial 
chambers in Shibam al-Ghiris , different types of 
cave tombs in Raybun and in Hurayda or the 
mausoleum t\ pe of burial chambers on the Awam 
cemetery in Marib and on the cemetery in 
Timna" 1 '. The chambers are always designed for a 
larger number ol deceased persons. 

rung w ith the I ' century B.C. this changes 
abruptly. From this poini in time onwards there 
n ei i iii.nnK onl) tndh idual burials m South- West 
\rabia ' Although these often differ in their form, 
this can best he explained by the different geologi- 
cal or geomorphological conditional in which the 
bunaK were made The basic character is similar 



The column or the aln pillar wu incra 

JulcJ into the architectural I nith Aiabii at 

the latest around the time ol the beginning cd our era. An 
example ol these is the architectural design ..! the sanctuary 
.•t Huqqi (Rathjcni - ron wlssnunn op.cit 
facetted pillars from thi d are dated to the be- 

ginning ot .iur era. However, there ii ""t \et anv certain 

typolog) both l"t trie shape of the lolumn-. arui ' 

shape and decoi 

i hi objects of this kirul known today tails u uh preat proba- 
bilit) in i hi' Himyarite age From an art-histoi 
mlu ,ui examination should bi : m par- 

ticuhu the shape of thi capitals is comparable «nh late an- 
cient ami earl) Byzantine pieces, therefore. making j daunt; 
possible 

I be besi gem ra '" abian tombs is 

offered b) B Vogi \ dt M tad Jensens im 

antiken Siidarabii n, in Munii h 
M Basalama, I tie Mumti n ■■ nn 
'■ 

\ \ Sedov, D 
im unti rcn \\ act) I >au an, Man Eryi 

■ 'ii I humpsoi I Moon T mplc of 

ommii 

thi S ty of A 

l Gerlach, Dei Fricdhol , ■ 

Hi in In ubl i dil \usi',r iImih. 

\\: w 'i •' ■ 'ii ii 

G "» Biblii tl trchacologisi 15, IVS2, im, 

l< I i Icvcland, Kn Vncieni s,,„itlt \rabian Necropolis 

in tlu I min.i' 

rj I'M SM I (1965) i 'Mi 

■ I. Maigrei op Fai ti inch 

\ nlii.il I Is occurred in South Ki ibid is i irlj ii the v 

ccnturj h i 

B Vogt I Gerlach, Berichi iibei dii Notgrabungen im 

I riedhol von Sa'Ob (Sana'a), in *.BAD> " 



■The Ace or the Fighting Kingdoms- 



55 




Fig. 8 Jabal al-'Awd, building 1, area 1 




Om 1 2 3 4 5m 

1 ig. 9 Shabwa, building ~4 



56 



HOLGEB HlTGEN 



in all these tombs. This applies both to the many 
burials in the highlands as well as to the tombs in 
the regions on the periphery of the desert. To see a 
connection between this change in burial rites in 
the desert and nomadic sections of the population 
in this region, as already suggested 52 , does not seem 
to be important to me. From Shuka' simple rectan- 
gular burial pits 53 are known which were hewn in 
the soft rocks and were covered over with stone 
slabs. Similar tombs can be found in the necropolis 
of Jabal Hajjaj. However some of these construc- 
tions also have a small chamber hewn into the rock 
which can only be reached via the pit. Well compa- 
rable tombs have only just been discovered re- 
cently in the Himyarite capital Zaf ar, which for the 
time being are dated at the r t -2° d century A.D. M . 
On the other hand simple burial shafts hewn into 
the soft, volcanic rock (tuff) for individual buri- 
als (?) can be found, e.g. in Sirha, likewise near to 
Yarim 55 . On the cemetery of Sha'flb on the high 
plateau of Sana'a the burials were dug in the wadi 
gravel and in the sediment layers 56 . Here two con- 
struction methods can be differentiated at the same 
place and the same time: The most modest tombs 
are simple graves dug in the ground that were 
probably covered over with mud bricks (Fig. 10). 
The stone box tombs are more elaborate. Here the 
side panels and the covers were made of limestone 
slabs (Fig. 1 1). In one of these tombs a red painted 
wooden coffin was also found 57 . The bodies in 
these tombs were preserved by a kind of mummifi- 
cation. In the stomach and around the whole body 
there were the remains of organic plants which 
were used to accelerate the drying process. The de- 
ceased were also wrapped in fabric and finally 
bound up with leather 55 . The bodies in the simple 
burial pits had not been lavished upon with such 
elaborate treatment. All that was left of them was 
mere the shade of the nearly totally decayed body. 
Generally mummification seems to represent a 
special type of burial which was otherwise only 
known from the cave burial sites such as those in 
Shibam al-Ghiras 59 . 

Conspicuous about the burial sites in Sha'flb is 
that there is no standard position of the bodies, an 
observation which is usually the case with other 
well-known burial sites. All tombs have in common, 
however, that the deceased were buried stretched 
out on their backs. This phenomenon can be seen in 
the individual tombs of the Wadi Pura' 60 (Fig. 12) 



and in the last individual burials in Raybun 61 (Fig. 13) 
just as in those sites where we continue to find col- 
lective burials. This applies, for example, to the 
hypogean tombs of Kharibat al-Ahjar* 2 (Fig. 14). In 
the case of the burials in Hayd bin 'AqD, which date 
at least up to the 1" century A.D.' 3 and therefore 
continue the traditions of the past age, this cannot 
be clarified due to their poor state of preservation. 
However, the shape of the tomb loculi in which the 
deceased lay, leads us to the same conclusion. 

The deceased were also buried on the Jabal al- 
'Awd in a stretched out position. Here a kind of 
collective burial has developed which up to now is 
unique for South- West Arabia (Fig. 15). Contrary 
to the custom, the burial places can be found di- 
recdy in the houses and not outside of the settle- 
ment. In almost every house which was examined 
up to now there is at least one room where the dead 
were buried under the floor. The dead lay close by 
one another, sometimes even piled on top of each 
other. Here too there is no evidence of a particular 
position. Significant of the location is rather the 



52 Vgl. J.-E Breton, L' Arabic heureuse au temps de la reine de 
Saba. Vllr-I" siecles avant J.-C. (1998) 194. I96f. - Indi- 
vidual burials must be explained differently as they are to be 
found in the two large regions of South Arabia, the desert 
periphery areas and the highlands. However, phenomena 
such as e.g. the re-occupation of old mausoleums and cave 
tombs and the occurrence of so-called eye steles (ibidem) 
demonstrate the influence of nomadic peoples on the burial 
cult. As far as 1 know these phenomena are, however, 
limited to the desert periphery areas. 

" Vogt - de Maigret op.cit. 176f. 180. 

54 Personal report by the excavator P. Yule. 

M R.W. Haddon, The Sirhah Tombs, PSAS 25, 1995, 153ff. 

* Vogt - Gerlach op.cit. !89ff. 

" Ibidem 203 f. 

" Ibidem 198f. 

w M. Basalama, Die Mumien von Shibam-al-Ghiris, in: Vienna 
Catalogue 252 f. 

°° R. Audouin, La fouille de sauvetage de 'Umm-Hunayka, in: 
J.-F. Breton - M. A. Bafaqlh, Tresors du WadT Dura' (R{- 
publique du Yemen) Fouille franco- yemenite de la necro- 
pole de Hajar am-Dhaybiyya (1993) ISff. 

" A.V. Sedov, Mare Erythraeum I, 1997, 39 ff. 

^ A. de Maigret, IsMEO Archaeological Activities in the 
Yemen Arab Republic, 1985, Ew 35, 1985, 355 ff.; idem, 
1986, EW36, 1986, 377 ff. 

" W. D. Glanzman, Hayd Ibn 'AqTl - der Friedhof von Tamna', 
in: Munich Catalogue 192. If one follows the dating result of 
the latest Italian research projects in Timna', then it seems 
that the town was not abandoned until the 2 nd century A.D. 
A usage of the cemetery also up to this time is probable. 



-The Age of the Fighting K. 



57 




fie, 11 Sha'ub, stone cist tomb Sha 6 



TX'C^V'- - ''.'''^-' ■'.''" "t r* *"". f .,^ '.\-'~~~., .-' 




Fig. 12 Wadi Pun', comb ! 



ss 



II ik Hue. i N 





! ; i£. 13 Raybun, cemcter) XVII, burial lb 



t\ pc oi architecture and the efforts .11 making the 
best possible use of the space available. In 1 
lit nne corpse, the remains oi a wooden coffin arc- 
even recognisable, bur tins is a singular phenome- 
non s. 

II we look again comprehensively .11 the burial 
rites at the times oi the 'fighting kingdoms' . out 
attention it di a* n in particular to the greai numbei 
ul different types oi burials practised which dif- 
ferentiate almost every burial sin from the others. 

At the same tin er, tl sing number 

oi indivulii.il burials, each with local characteris- 
tics, is Ii atesi ii tin time oi the 

beginning of our en wards, the single tomb is thi 

most v id oi bin i.il in South Ai abi.i 

Als the • ustom oi but ial gift \ then ireobvi 

1 »ii'. 1 hangi s hi parison to the pn \ 

Although a) iln Aw; imctcr) in Marib and in 

earlier burials in Hayd bin "AqTl burial gifts domi 

11. in whii I s| I to 1 1 mil irdisi d, 

sun ted t) pi ul finds' . tin I ind ol 1 ibji 1 1 thai 
ven now placed in the 1 bs seem nol to be sub 



jected in any fixed rules. Whereas in Manb and 
Timna' apart from costume accessories the burial 
pits consist mainly oi objects which were pro- 
duced directlj lot the burial, the objects now 
have a direct connection with the deceased him-/ 
herself'' h is true that there were also pin 
especiall) ceramic items, that must be regarded in 
1. min, nun -a 11I1 the suit ot the dead, but the rc- 
maining objects have quite a different character. 

" It was inn possibh 1.. tomb completely so fas 

.1 .In ih. in. .11 ..I tluv tomb tin. I has nol s ct been 

shed 
I 1 IcrUch hi KhKD therela 

ttvi h limiti -I 1. p. imn. "i '. 

1 mil, \n Nil 1 South Arabian Necropolis Obiects from 

1I1. s. , ..ml ( ampaign (1951) in the I mini i . 

I'M SSI 1 

1 In ilso applies* ,' i.. 1I1. ( 1." .s . that wen found in large 

III ill. \« till . ■ III. I. I \ III. I ill. II lllilll I. Ill 1 

. 11 mi . mi in id. inks 1 1. 1I1. 11 engraved names 
I .. I 1 ii However, thest arc burial i;itts that 

..I I ipeciall) i"i ili. I'lin ,: .1.. n.. 1 



[,1 unn in from 'In possessio 



..t 1I1, I. . . 1 . . 



■The Act ok the Fighting Kingdoms 



59 




Fig. 14 KlwibAt al-Ahjar, T 2 




Fig. 15 Jjb.il »l-'Awd, collective bur 



60 



HOLGER HlTGEN 



There are e.g. many different kinds of weapons, 
jewellery, personal amulets, mirrors, imported 
glass vessels and costly pottery 67 . These objects 
originate with great probability from the private 
possessions of the deceased. A further sign of per- 
sonal items as burial gifts is the signature on two 
objects from Tomb 3, the » Warrior's Tomb* in 
Wadi Dura' with the name Yafa' from the tribe of 
Taraf 68 . This was most certainly the name of the 
dead person". 

It is important to note the high degree of indi- 
vidualisation which is reflected in the new burial 
customs 70 . The shape of the individual tomb alone 
makes this obvious as, contrary to collective buri- 
als, it marks a very clear spatial division from the 
other tombs and therefore from the other deceased. 
The personal character of the burial gifts under- 
lines this impression. 



period is already almost exhausted. Besides, these 
motifs were subjected to only slowly spreading sty- 
listic changes over a period of several hundred years. 

With the beginning of the 1" century B.C. the 
tradition of these images by no means breaks off. 
But on the one hand there is a considerably faster 
stylistic development to be seen and on the other 
hand the repertoire of images is being augmented 
and distinctly extended. In the following I would 
like to pick out only some few, but very prominent 
examples. 

Around this time a new type of tomb relief 
appears which no longer includes static, symbolic 
shapes. We are now talking about reliefs with an 
narrative content. Depicted in one, sometimes even 
more pictures are farewell scenes and scenes which 
can be brought into direct connection with the 
deceased 72 . The pictures are often surrounded by 
framing columns or canopies as well as occasion- 



Art production 

A third aspect by which the reforms and develop- 
ment of the material culture at that time is said to 
be manifested, is the production of art. It becomes 
apparent that here the changes are shown at their 
most clearest. In this respect also the prevailing 
characteristics are designated by the terms •indi- 
viduality* and "diversity*. 

The use of such key words only makes sense if 
they are set in comparison to something else, in 
this case the preceding era. At the time of the cara- 
van kingdoms art is characterised by traditions and 
in the broadest sense by standardised design 71 . The 
repertoire is almost completely restricted to reli- 
gious subjects for which there are definite selling 
opportunities. Deviations and individual pieces do 
in fact occur but these are only exceptions. As 
already mentioned, ibex and antelope friezes are 
the most popular motifs. Included in the typical 
examples are still bulls, mostly with their heads 
used as water fountains, drainage pipes from sacri- 
ficial basins or as a protom on tomb steles, statu- 
ettes of seated women, almost round sculptured 
heads of men and women, all without exception 
from the tomb context, terracotta figurines of 
women and camels in only a few differing varia- 
tions as well as architecture imitations and a few 
symbols depicting gods on altars and incense 
burners. With this short list the repertoire of this 



67 In the case of almost all the undisturbed or nearly undis- 
turbed burials that fall in this period, burial gifts can be 
found that can be connected with the personal belongings 
of the deceased. These must not always appear in large 
number, as for example in the Wadi Pura', at the Jabal 
al-'Awd or as discovered recendy during the excavations of 
the GOAM in Abyan. Yet it is remarkable that even in the 
less richly endowed tombs (e.g. Shuka', Sha'ub or Kharibat 
al-Ahjar) such objects belong to the repertoire of burial gifts. 

M A signet ring and a dagger bear this inscription: Vienna 
Catalogue 360 f. no 381; p. 361 no. 382. 

w Although other names were also found on the various 
objects from Tomb 3, it is indeed the signet ring that can be 
direcdy associated with the deceased. However, the same 
name can be found on a box in Tomb 2 (Vienna Catalogue 
363 no 390) on the same site. In my opinion this indicates 
that despite the custom of individual burials a spatial 
proximity to family contexts was created. Cf. about the 
texts in conclusion: C. Robin-M. A. Bafaqth, Les inscrip- 
tions sur les objects, in: Breton -Bafaqlh, op.cit. 75. 

™ Cf. also B. Vogt- A. de Maigret, Tod und Jenseits im an- 
tiken Siidarabien, in: Munich Catalogue 182. 

" E.g. A. de Maigret, Alcune considerazioni sulle origini e lo 
sviluppo dell'arte sudarabica, in: N. Nebes (ed.), Arabia 
Felix. Beitrage zur Sprache und Kultur des vorislamischen 
Arabien. Festschrift W. W. Miiller (1994) 142 ff.; I. Gerlach, 
Zur Obernahme altorientalischer Motive in die Kunst 
Siidarabiens. Eine reliefierte Bronzeplatte aus dem Jemen, 
BaM 3 1,2000, 262 f. 

71 For general comments on corresponding tomb reliefs see: 
A. Grohmann, Arabien, HAW. Kulturgeschichte des Alten 
Orients III 4 (1963) 225 ff.; J. Pirenne, Notes d'archeologie 
sud-arabe IV. La deesse sur des reliefs sabeens, Syria 42, 
1965, I09ff.; Vogt-de Maigret op.cit. 179f. 



-The Ace of the Fighting Kingdoms- 



61 





Fig. 16 Tomb relief, Paris, 
Louvre AO 1029 



Fig. 17 Shabwa, incence 

burner, London, British 

Museum ANE 1937-5-7,1 



Fig. 18 Tan'im, relict. National 
Museum Sana'a, YM 386 



ally with landscape details. The pictures are there- 
fore bestowed with vividness and originality which 
must be explained as being produced at the request 
of the commissioner to create via the relief some- 
thing individual which - even if symbolic — pro- 
vides information on the deceased in question and 
his position in society. Some of the most beautiful 
variations include the so-called camel- or horse- 
riding warriors. A fine example is said to be the re- 
lief in the Louvre (AO 1029) 73 , which in the upper 
part of the picture features the representation of a 
banquet which can be interpreted rather as otitic 
than profane, whereas in the lower part the de- 
ceased is depicted as a mounted warrior or possible 
a caravan driver (Fig. 16). Such a pictorial self-por- 
trait can not only be found on tomb reliefs but also 
on offerings, such as an altar from Shabwa with a 
camel-rider (Fig. 17) now .u the British Museum 
(WA 125682) 4 . Instead of the depiction of sun and 
moon symbols and a framing .irchitectur.il design 



otherwise customary on incense burners, on this 
piece on the front one finds the rcliefed illustration 
oi a camel-rider. The inscription "Adhlal, the son 
of the WahabTi" 5 suggests that the camel-rider is 
in fact that donator Adhlal. Another example for a 
pictorial self-portrait might be a relief slab from 
Tan'im (Fig. 18), on which the warrior Tubba' * 
and his wife are depicted, who, as the inscription 
explains, dedicate their war spoils to the goddess 
Shams. Perhaps one should regard in a similar con- 
nection the numerous statuette dedications, which 
arc apparent in this period but of which almost 



i C. Rohm, Ar.ihii heUTCUSC, Ai.ihu desi 

antiquites arabiques <Ju Musee tin I t el docu- 

ments des must with detailed 

literature indical 
'* Vienna Catalogue si, 

' II. [Jem Si, no. 20. 

' [bidi a 



62 



HOLGER HCTGEN 



always only base with the inscription remain 



It has already been pointed out rightly several 
times that the narrative tomb reliefs are influenced 
by East Mediterranean art traditions 78 . This influ- 
ence is, however, limited not only to this one case, 
but extends into large areas of the South- West Ara- 
bian artistic activity. The static pillars as supporting 
constructions in architecture gradually change to 
columns, their capitals and bases slowly give up 
their linear design features in favour of floral and 
decor ornaments of Mediterranean influence 7 ', the 
strong stylisation and the two-dimensional inter- 
pretation in the plastic representation of man and 
animals is lent more spatial depth and a »more 
naturalistic* design. 

The strong Graeco-Roman influence on the 
South- West Arabian art production of that time 
can be clearly explained by the intensive sea trad- 
ing contacts that connected both regions to a great 
extent at the latest from around the 1" century A.D. 
onwards 80 . It is true that beforehand there were al- 
ready contacts to there via the inner- Arabian incense 
route"', but the quality of the contact with maritime 
trade changed radically. Not only the quantity of 
the goods dealt with increased drastically, but also 
the contacts furthermore gained another quality 82 . 
Now the producers or their mediators no longer 
brought the goods to the buyers, but the buyers 
came direct and in large numbers to Southern Ara- 
bia. The Graeco-Roman traders and captains trans- 
ported with them their own cultures and facilitated 
for a much larger number of people in the country a 
direct experience of foreign lands. However, the 
traders from the North transported not only goods 
but also brought new ideas with them. 

These ideas must at least partly have fallen on 
fertile ground as otherwise it is hardly possible to 
explain the social developments that demonstrate 
distinct parallels to the Graeco-Roman world. 

With the increasingly insecure political situation 
in the centres of the caravan kingdoms towards the 
end of the 1" century B.C., due on the one hand to 
the Arabian tribes who were continually penetrat- 
ing further south and on the other to the massive 
losses in income as a result of the removal of the in- 
cense route from the inner Arabian desert to the 
Red Sea, the naturalness and the political power of 
the traditional form of society was then queried. 



Correspondingly the new powers in the highlands, 
of which Himyar was only one of several at the be- 
ginning, tried to legitimise their claims by found- 
ing new forms of society and establishing new 
cults. At the same time the remaining caravan king- 
doms were fighting for survival and for their new 
place in the region. 

With Himyar and the new political units the 
cohesion does not arise from a communal cult but 
from the loyalty to a prince. Correspondingly the 
main point of attention in the material representa- 
tion of the state now lies more strongly in the pres- 
entation of the ruler's domains such as that of the 
palaces. Inevitably a development process of this 
kind is accompanied by a stronger individualisa- 
tion of the society which no longer refers to an 
•eternal* god but to a person, the King or his 
dynasty. Similar processes occurred previously 
with the emergence of the great Hellenistic king- 



77 It is noticeable chat not only the dedicated objects (or their 
substitutes) are becoming more and more varied and more 
individual in their design, but also that in particular ako 
the dedication inscriptions in the middle Sabaean era, in 
contrast to their forerunners are becoming more and more 
detailed, more personal in their narration and more indi- 
vidual. The individual donating therefore gains in signifi- 
cance. 

71 E.g. Vogt-de Maigret op. cit. 179f. 

79 The Mediterranean influence in architecture and architec- 
tural design was last interpreted in an extremely disparaging 
manner as a sign of the cultural deterioration of the actual 
>genuine< South Arabian art. Cf. J. Schmidt, NBA 14, 
1997/98, 34 ff. 

10 With the downfall of the Minaean kingdom in the 1" cen- 
tury B.C. which up to then had mainly organized foreign 
trade over land, a re-organisation of trade became urgendy 
required. Presumably an almost complete removal of trade 
from the landroutes to the sea followed very quickly. The 
founding of the port of Qani' in the early 1" century A.D. (e.g. 
A. V. Sedov, Dcr Hafen von Qani' - das Tor zum jemen in 
fruhnachchrisdicher Zeit, in: Vienna Catalogue 275 ff.) and 
Samhar (c. g. A. Avanzini, Samhir [Khor Ron] - eine hadrami- 
tische Griindung im omanischen Dhofar, in: Vienna Cata- 
logue 280) in the late 1" century B.C. bear obvious witness 
to this. Cf. also L. Casson, South Arabia's Maritime Trade 
in the First Century A.D., in: T. Fahd (ed.), L'Arabie 
preislamique et son environnement historique et culturel. 
Actes du Colloque de Strasbourg 24-27 juin 1987 (1989) 
187ff. 

" I. Gerlach, BaM 31, 2000, 263 ff. 

u Ibidem. 



-The Age or thi Fighting Kingdo 



63 




Fig. 19 Yaqla', copies of the bronze statues of Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr and Tha'ran, 
National Museum Sana'a 



doms and with the beginning of the "Imperial Era» 
in the whole of the Roman Empire 83 . 

In my opinion a careful adaptation of these for- 
eign political ideas in Southern Arabia is demon- 
strated by the fact that for the newly presented 
self-portrayal of the Southern Arabian kingdoms 
often those means were used which were borrowed 
from the Hellenistic-Roman world. 

A good example of this is the fabrication of the 
palace in Shabwa 8 " 1 . Both for the relief design of the 
columns and capitals as well as for the painting of 
the balustrades not only foreign craftsmen were 
engaged but also typical motifs of the Eastern 
Mediterranean regions 85 were applied. The figure 
painting, by the way, also seems to be an element 
of decoration which was first used at all al tins 
time 81 . The only comparisons so far are the famous 
paintings from Qaryat al-Fau' and the most re- 
cently discovered fragment of a head in the charac- 



teristic style of a ruler portrayed with a head-band 
around it from an annexe of the Awara Temple in 

u Without wanting to emphasize too strongly at this point any 
parallel development in the Mediterranean cultural region 
and in South Arabia, - to put it more simply - one can find in 
both cultures similar social political development processes 
that, however, begin slightly later in South Arabia. 

84 R. Audouin, Sculptures et pemtures du chateau royal de 
Shabwa, in: J.-F. Breton (ed.), Fouilles de Shabwa II (1991 
165 ft. 

B Audouin, ibidem 178ff., and E. Will, Note additionnelle au 

decor du chateau royal, in: Breton (ed.), op.cit. 183 fl 

ap.irl from the Eastern Mediterranean Greek-Roman, in- 

fluence a -parthic< influence. This is, however, represented 
by likewise Eastern Mediterranean an centres in Palmyra, 
Doura-Europos and liana Without further separation 1 
have dealt wuli these together in this paper. 
" Also for the paintings one can find the models or rathei the 
best comparisons in the Syrian legions Will, op.cit. I84f. 

D A.R. al Ans.m . Qaryat al-Fau. A Portrait of Pre-Islunk 

l ml,, ..no,, in S.uidl \|J'I.I (1982) 26 1 I35fl 



M 



I I ii M. i . 





Fig. 20 a Jabal al-'Awd, bronze mask helmet 



Fig. 20b Jah.il al-'Awd, bronz4 b 



Marib 88 . Bui in particular the two Larger-than-life 

bronze statues from Yaqla 1 (today an-Nakhla al- 
Hamra') show that in Southwest Arabia they were 
definitely familiar with the method of portrayal ol 
Hellenistic-Roman rulers and the connotation sug- 
gested bv them. The two portrayed Himyarite 
kings Dhamar'afi Yuhabirr and his son Tha'ran 
(Fig. 19) were presented as gifts for display in the 
audience room' '. Amongst others the finds ot I 1,1 
lenistic-Roman bronzes and statuettes, such as the 
lion -rider of Timna' or the objects from the Jahal 
al-'Awd 41 (Tig. 20) and the [aba! I lajjaj in oi on 
houses which rather tend to be allocated to off it ials 
and the upper class ol the country, make the esteem 
ol such pieces recognisable. The large numbei ol 
the pieces ot this kind discovered so in prevents 
us from regarding them onlj as meaningless exotic 
pieces of jewellery. 

1 ■ en ii * i havi lasi ipi iki n al impi irts and 

Hellenistic-Roman influenced an craftsmanship I 
by no means wish to denj the m production ol 
this time its originality. On the contrary! A pan 

fr the examples des< ribed, one can also pursue 

the traditional production ol an ovei t long 
period ' in p. ii n. ulai b) the artisti< ally influi m • d 
objects we can rei ognise how ai the same time old 
traditions can 1m upheld and innovations simply 
used to develop one's own shapes and motifs 



Within a short time the influences are absorbed and 
adapted in their shape and meamngtulness. 

Tim Transition ro na Himyariti Culturj 

In conclusion, at this point, we come to the delimi- 
tation ol the material culture from the following 
Himyarite age Whereas during the »age oi the 
fighting kingdoms the region was spin in the 



\|V1I> 

wall paintings 

lias noi \. I been publi I know 

K. Weid tpatantikc 

i \\ \\ Mtiller, I In- Ins. ripi i 

iln 1 1. Hi m«ii ■ i from Nakhlal al I limn , 

ir) I, PSAS ". 
i ... i | ■ i 

Bowi n |i | i 
m South \- ibia, I'M ■ I -ti 

\ i. I ii ilci^ui 18 'I t«,i I6S 

\|> in from ihi ijlvi i hi ■■! ol I ' 

i thi lati ll.il'.'. ■ 

i .i ' \ M In ould like to thank th< h . n ai 

A sh iinviii tin his km. I linns 

i | ,<■ i ,■ ill. .Iiir ri 'ii -.i y\ts ol from the 

fabal il 'Awd 1 1 I litgi n, in Munii h I H Jo 



»The Age op the Fighting Kingdoms* 



65 



political and also in the cultural sense and was con- 
stantly changing, with the political unity that fol- 
lowed as a result of the successful expansion policy 
of Himyar, it gradually began to find its peace 94 . 
Probably in the awareness that a permanent rule 
over so many originally different social groups is 
only possible if, besides the political, mostly force- 
fully achieved unity, one can find a mutual basis, 
the kings were early to turn to monotheism. No 
matter whether we are talking about a locally influ- 
enced monotheism or Judaism or Christianity' 5 , in 
any case it was possible in this way to achieve great 
mutuality between the different subjects of the 
realm and at the same time to rob the probably still 
powerful priesthood of its footing. 

With the political unity and turning of the rulers 
to monotheism in the 4 th century A.D. a decisive 
change in the material culture must have taken 
place. From archaeological excavations we have 
been able to gain almost no knowledge at all. But 
the singularly known monuments, although with- 
out context, and the objects of art found all give 
evidence of this. It is obvious that the repertoire 
of different types of art is declining rapidly. The 
slow abandonment of numerous polytheistic cults 
makes superfluous a large proportion of art pro- 
duction closely connected with these. The depic- 
tion of godly symbolic animals such as bulls and 
ibexes, for instance, loses its point. Portrayals of 
this kind can now only be regarded in their orna- 
mental decorative context. For this reason the em- 
phasis moves in the direction of decorative design 
in architecture. In this period we find an almost 
inexhaustible range of variations of ivy and leaf 
reliefs (Fig. 21) as well as capital shapes". Seen 
from a purely stylistic point of view, the capitals 
and the decorations only have parallels to a limited 
extent in the East Roman examples, even if they are 
proven to be based on them. In the case of the late 
Himyaritic shapes good comparisons can partly be 
found in the Axumite cultural areas 97 . Altogether 
in this period considerably less direct influence can 
be determined, i. e. in particular stylistic influence 
on art creation than was still apparent during the 
centuries before. Also imports are missing nearly 
entirely 98 . To the decorative, ornamentally appear- 
ing character of art one can also attribute the in- 
scriptions which are now being carried out almost 
completely in high relief and therefore take on a 
different, playfully ornate appearance. 



Also the representation of the royal court de- 
mands new forms of depiction. In this connection 
we can probably ascribe the fragments of battle 
reliefs 9 ' and portrayals of royal hunts 100 which can 
be found occasionally (Fig. 22). Here the king or 
princes are depicted with their virtues, i. e. as war- 
riors and sophisticated, courageous huntsmen. 
Hunting is therefore given a royal aspect and is no 
longer seen in the context of cult. 



94 Cf. the concluding contributions on the historic and political 
conditions in the early Himyarite and Himyarite ages in the 
Vienna Catalogue by Ch. Robin, Die streitenden Konigreiche 
in Zeiten politischer Instabiltfar, 261 ff. and I. Gajda, Die Ver- 
einigung Sudarabiens unter dem Reich von Himyar, 269 ff. 

99 Ch. Robin, Du paganisme au monotheisme, in: idem (ed.), 
L'Arabie antique de Karibll a Mahomet. Nouvelles don- 
oees sur l'histoire des Arabes grace aux inscriptions, Revue 
du Monde Musuhnan et de la Mediterranee 61, 1992, 144 ff.; 
idem, Sheba dans les inscriptions d'Arabie du Sud, in: Sup- 
plement au Dictionnaire de la Bible (1996) 1 1 89 f f . 

96 Reliefed wine creeper ornamentation as well as Mediterra- 
nean-influenced capital shapes have not been researched 
into so far in South Arabia with a view to their stylistic 
development. However, it can be proven that some shapes 
were already widely distributed within this cultural circle 
during the first centuries A.D. A further development of 
these shapes can be traced up to the late Himyarite period 
and even further. An exact chronological placing is, however, 
extremely problematic. Basically the later objects often have 
a rather ornamental, decorative character. Cf. in this connec- 
tion the pieces originating from various excavation sites in 
the Yemen, in: W. Radt, Katalog der Suatlichen Antiken- 
sammlung von San'a' und anderer Antiken im Jemen (1973) 
e.g. no. 24. 25. 43. 108. 109. 126. 130-132. For pieces that 
chronologically can be reasonably classified cf. B. Finster, 
Arabien in der Spatanuke, AA 1996, 310ff. 318 with note 129. 

97 E.g. ibidem 300. 

98 Apart from the numerous import ceramics of this period that 
have been salvaged from excavation in the South Arabian ports 
(cf. e.g. in detail A.V. Sedov, New Archaeological and Epi- 
graphical Material from Qana [South Arabia], AAE 3, 1992, 
1 10 ff.) and some findings of coins, there are surprisingly few 
products of East Roman, Sassanidite or Axumite workshops 
(except pottery). For one of the few examples that clearly have 
a practical, not an articsdc esthetical use cf. G. Brands, Ein 
spatantikes Bronzegewicht im Yemen, AA 1998, 483 ff. 

99 Radt op. cit. no. 44. 91; P. Costa, Antiquities from £afar 
(Yemen) II, AION 36, 1976, no. 134. 

100 Cf. e.g. the hunting scenes on the capital from Husn al-TJrr: 
in detail, in: E.J. Keall, A Second Attempt to Understand 
the Historical Context of Husn al-'Urr in the Hadramawt, 
PSAS 25, 1995, 55 ff. For the dominant aspect of hunting 
cf. also the inscriptions in A. Sima, Die Jagd im antiken 
Sudarabien, WO 31, 2000/2001, 84 ff. 



66 



I li)l CI R I llTGEN 





Fig. 21 \\\ relief, National Museum Sana's 



Fig. 21 Battle relief, National Museum Sana'a, Y.M 37 



Also the new religions now need new, different 
forms ot expression. However, surprisingly very 
little has been preserved on tins topic. We ma) ex 
peet the depienon ot saints and symbols or reli- 
gious stories, but this can hardlv be substantiated 
with finds. Only in structural art or in building 
ornamentation ean elements occasional!) be found 
that presumably can be connected with Christian 
symbolism 1 ' 1 . These include, tor instance, repre- 
sentations ol peacocks and Kantharoi, hut also 
wine creepers can be interpreted in this w.u . In 
sculpture the situation regarding tradition is even 
worse. Here only a few examples are known so 
far that have religious topics in their content. 
These are almost always representations of Mary . 
In the case of the statuette m the National Museum 
in Sana'a ' (Fig 23) it is with great probability a 
Maria with the child a moot thai reoccurs in one "I 
the two pieces originating from the art marker I ike 
wise following the pattern ol f hnstiau icono graph) 
appear to he two statuettes or representations 
worked in high relief made ol magnesium hydroxide 
ite, whieh were recently discovered in a re 
settlement phase of the 5 and6' centuries A 1> on 
the Jabal al-'Awd 1 ( omparison with < optit ind 
hast Mediterranean depictions make an interprets 
tion as saints i liastii al dignitai ies pn ibabli 

' orri sponding piei es may give .i hint as to a hat 
can all still be expected if one were to concentrate 
archaeology al ai n\ ities on targeted excavation sites 
ol the late period in South) i n Arabia 

( l lN< I USION 

The lew examples from the most varied areas ol 
South Arabian culture d g the first centuries 



VI >. described in the above Confirm, in mv 
opinion and from a material cultural point ot view 
the historic periodisation ol South Arabia com- 
piled m the Pans ( Catalogue on the Yemen Exhibi- 
tion ol 1997. In addition to the well-known epi 
graphic subdivision we also tmd chronologicall) 
parallel to this a historic division that finds expres- 
sion and its equivalent in the material characteristic 
ol South Arabia at that time. From an archaeologi- 
cal point ol view, therefore, individual phases mav 



AJthough not iu\t .i few v fiurv h builJinc arc known from 
the inscriptions oi froi innot be 

■ > t n from an ai Vise th< 

famous church of Sand onstructcd aln 

I) on the grourn i nut tslamit d 

tions • t [i Pinstei I Schmidt, Die Kircbc des Abfaba in 
SanT, in: N. N ■•■■ W U 

Mullrt i I''* M 1 1. * ii Surprising!) there is almost no material 
. \ idt ii. i up lo now 

in. i< in I ■.. in*, h is 

tynagogui A \ Scdov, Qan ind the Indian 

1 1>. \i, hai oli ce, in: H.P. Raj I I 

S ill'--- teds), I rad i and ^ 

«'t the Intel 
. Si nun ii rcchno Vi 
Scat arm 

\ 1 1 '. ■ I ... I, 4, |994 I 1996) is 

I im.i. r op 
i H Hi. ihn . n ulptun i know n to me, rw i 

I. . ippt ired .mi the ui m >i !■■ i, ind . ui ihci i fi 
bi ,1. .ill » nit hen mon i losel) 

'■ ith noti '' ' 

O til., two pieces is complete « hcrras the wcond one 

I., nilv been preserved in the formol fragments \ detailed 
publu i ihese nbjei ts is in prepai iiion 



»The Agk of the Fighting Kingdoms* 



67 



not be generalised - as has still been the case re- 
cently. In the material definition of a cultural hori- 
zon it seems to me to be inappropriate to concen- 
trate on the ceramic sequences alone and in doing 
so to pay no attention whatsoever to the much 
more meaningful expressions in art and the pat- 
terns of social behaviour that are reflected, for 
instance, in architecture or in burial rites. 

In almost all fields of the cultural expression of 
South Arabia there are obvious displacements and 
changes towards the end of the 1" century B.C. 
which makes a periodic subdivision very necessary. 
With the strong expansion of sea trade, apart from 
the foreign body of thought, in particular Mediter- 
ranean, i.e. Hellenistic-Roman influenced art per- 
ception finds its way into the creation of art in 
South Arabia. A slow individualisation process as 
well as a transformation in the political-social struc- 
tures cause a fundamental change in the cultural ex- 
pression of South Arabia whereby, however, over a 
longer period, for example, the traditional art per- 
ception is handed down and finds its place next to 
the new formation possibilities. In the end, with 
this it achieves a unity, its own artistic identity. 

Towards the end of the 3 rd or in the course of the 
4' century A.D. a further distinct transition occurs 
in the cultural expression of South Arabia. With the 
complete takeover of power on the part of Himyar 
over almost the whole of South Arabia and the slow 
takeover of monotheistic religions, the full, handed- 
down range of pictures ot society changes. Pictures, 
official and religious architectures, as well as burial 
rites adapt to the new religious and social circum- 
stances and develop new languages of form. This 
transformation as well as the character of the new 
vocabulary of forms will come even better to the 




Fig. 23 Man- (?) with the child, National Museum Sana'a 



fore in an intensification of research activities in 
the so-called late period in South Arabia than are 
already recognisable at the present time. 



Address: 

Jiolger Hitgen M.A., Deutsches Arcbaologisches 
Institut, Orient-Abteilung, Auflenstelle Sana' a, do 
Auswartiges Ann, Botschaft Sana' a, D-11013 Ber- 
lin, hitgen@y.net.ye 



68 HOLGER HlTGEN 

¥ jxll fib VJ4<^ ((* ■***•> ^^ OjM u 3 * J 3 *** 8 J^ Ji" tU 18 ) "**>*•» l * ll **» J**" 
JjaStt (> t Ji J*i. ^JUI S jLiaJ) i^l j* 

(Holger Hitgen) 

<jjjj J5*! "SjjUUI lillUJ J4C" J I i* IjW* jj*) MJ** ^W v>* «jkJ»* 6* **&»-• SJJl_»J i^ili. fU 

^ c ^ijj diii j^j jiu, .^i5L»ji iiiai ojiiij a**» jji JjVi aj» ijh <~»uui 4jjuii luUaJ iiiijta 

Oil) Cijjfc S^U-,j l| ^Ja.VI Jill Ja ^tlijb JjjJI dlli >4l ijJ-i^S *#SjU* -V>ljSj M-" 8 ^j 9 ^ 1 1>* 

Cum ^31 "&-„•■-» U.j" (.jij (jJc. IjJjKI Jiljill tiUU. Uajl Jj 1 Jj<«>. (£• l^a- *i5«JJ 4jLaJ ijUiijJI ^i 
ipAjll (>. UiJ AjJaij (jS^j 4ji«J oUijjatt (.till (^ jUaaJI j ^ijjtill Jt^ill (jjj lilj .L)MjJj Ujjijj 1|*U .- 
•jLiitb fiL-VI JJt Ji ^i*. ib-S J* JjVI OjiS 6* ijiill J3U. ijjUH ijjLiaJI Sjjiil i-^US ^30— VI 
^j3UJI «LBB oj5» <>• Ah* <J*» JjVI OjM 0* *-£»» J* i3^ J Jfifl fie. yi U^ oVIj ."Wj»^ Ij^" 

i^JLjJi li> llpa. l«iuaj tdlJSj "Jjiuijll ^Ji-JI JuaaJI" -J Ajjl jiuj) jtj A^&j ^ Jjjli 0>V Vfiuaj j,uj ^1 

," jSi.il (« jh=>JI j^uJI" ' a; 1 - (jlLj J "iijUUI .iw..ii jjt" j 4*J** a r-j J"' 



Sarah Japp 

SELECTED POTTERY FROM THE CEMETERY OF THE 
AWAM TEMPLE IN MARIB - OBSERVATIONS ON CHRONOLOGY 

AND PROVENIENCE 



The subject of this article is the presentation of se- 
lected types of normal sized pottery found during 
the last five seasons of excavation at the cemetery 
of the Awam temple in Marib, in order to construct 
a chronological frame for Sabaean pottery. 

Unlike miniature vessels, most of the normal 
sized pottery was found in fragmentary condition. 
Nevertheless, several pieces show a quite complete 
profile, so they can be arranged in a typology simi- 
lar to the miniature pottery. Some of the normal 
sized fragments have equivalents within the minia- 
ture examples; however, many display different 
forms and types. Yet, the fabric as well as clay 
colour and surface colour are comparable by the 
majority, and therefore an identical production 
area for miniature and normal sized vessels can be 
assumed. Decoration, slip and burnishing of nu- 
merous pieces can even be judged as correspond- 
ing. 

Most of the vessels presented here were found 
throughout the whole area of the necropolis with- 
out any stratigraphic context. Only few were exca- 
vated in places, which can be considered a mostly 
undisturbed locus; two such examples will be dis- 
cussed later on. Consequently, this attempt in con- 
structing a chronology for the pottery in Marib is 
mainly based on comparisons with forms from 
other areas and excavations. 

Small angular juglets that seem to derive from 
the Sabaean sphere were always covered by a bur- 
nished slip. The body is tall with straight sides, a 
sharply angled shoulder and a diagonally out-turn- 
ing rim (Cat. 1. 2). Some pieces were used as 
ostraka with names written on the outside surface. 
Comparable concerning the form are jars from 



Hajar bin Humayd, but one group has a bigger rim 
diameter and painted bands or wavy lines on the 
outer surface 1 . The jars belong to the period 
between the 9 th and the 7 th century BCE. Another 
group is more similar in terms of size and stems 
from a later period, late 5 to the early 3 r century 
BCE. As in Marib the jars often have incised in- 
scriptions and sometimes are burnished on the out- 
side 2 . An example from ad-Durayb-Yala is quite 
identical in looks, even displaying an inscription 
on the outside; it is dated to the 12 to 9 century 
BCE 3 . Perhaps these angular juglets and their spe- 
cial treatment can be regarded as long-lived forms 
produced and used between the 10 and 5 cen- 
tury BCE. Thus, they could represent some of the 
oldest pottery material from the Awam cemetery. 
In the assemblages, in which these angular juglets 
appeared, the following vessels were also observed 



Sources of illustrations: Cat. 3. 5. 15. 17. 20-23. 25. 29. 40-43. 
Fig. 1. 2: Photo J. Kramer. - Cat. 34-37: Photo I. Wagner. - 
Cat. 5. 6. 9. 19. 24. 28-38. 40-43: Drawing by M. Manda. - 
Cat. 1-4. 7. 8. 10-18. 20-23. 25-27. 39. 44: Drawings by S. Japp. 

1 G. W. Van Beek, Hajar Bin Humeid. Investigations at a Pre- 
Islamic Site in South Arabia, PAFSM V (1969) 189 fig. 46 
Type 1002 H 2203. H 2188. H 2187. 

2 Van Beek op.cit. 202 fig. 59 Type 1110 LCF 6. 

3 G. Garbini, Le iscrmoni su ceramica da ad-Durayb - 
Yala, Yemen 1, 1992, 80 fig. 6; 83 fig. 14; W. Seipel, Jemen. 
Kunst und Archaologie im Land der Konigin von Saba', 
exhibition cat. Vienna (1999) 95 cat. 41 (left object). Con- 
cerning the pottery fragments used as ostraka in Yala com- 
pared to the ones from the Awam cemetery it is remarkable 
that many similar forms were used, such as carinated bowls, 
torpedo-shaped jars or even the above-mentioned angular 
juglets. 



70 



Sakah Japp 



(Cat. 3. 4). The body shows a strong carination in 
the middle, rendering the whole vessel a biconical 
appearance. All known fragments are covered with 
a red, horizontally burnished slip, and there is a 
row of short vertical lines painted around the rim 
in red colour on several pieces. Like the aforemen- 
tioned juglets a similar example from Yala with an 
inscription has been dated to the 12 th to 9 th century 
BCE*. Nevertheless, we would assume a longer 
period of production and use in view of the asso- 
ciated material, which could be dated to the 8 to 
5 th century BCE. 

Interesting and even of very old appearance are 
fragments that make up an independent group. 
They can be reconstructed as goblets with a high 
out-turning foot, a nearly flat base and straight 
body walls (Cat. 5.6). The vessels are always deco- 
rated on the outer surface with horizontally incised 
lines running along the rim area as well the area 
above the stem. The space between is covered by 
regularly incised, vertical bands, that are alter- 
natingly red-painted or filled with diagonal or 
x-shaped grooves. One corresponding sherd is 
known from Hajar bin Humayd in stratum S, 
dated to the U A century BCE 5 . 

So it seems that these three types of vessels be- 
long to the oldest pottery that we have observed in 
the Awam necropolis. 

The mass of the pottery from the cemetery 
should be dated between the T h and the 5 th century 
BCE, where we have noticed a lot of building 
activities. Most of the miniature vessels seem to be- 
long to this period. As mentioned above the minia- 
ture pottery possesses normal sized equivalents, 
for example beakers, bowls or even jugs. In this re- 
spect a very interesting find complex was discov- 
ered outside tomb 37 to the south of the necropo- 
lis. An ensemble of several juglets had been placed 
on a small earthen elevation at the corner edge of 
the tomb (Fig. 1). About 40 rim- and foot-frag- 
ments could be exposed; five pieces were quite 
complete. Most of the handmade juglets display a 
short foot, globular body, short neck and an out- 
curving rim (Cat. 7. 8). The outer surface was usu- 
ally covered by a thin red wash, a red or beige, 
sometimes burnished slip. General form, fabric, 
wash or slip correspond mostly to that of the 
miniature jugs found in the cemetery'. Perhaps this 
find complex provides a clue to the function of 
these vessels. Presumably the small juglets were 



filled with gifts far the dead or the god, perhaps 
with liquids, cereals or dried fruits. It seems that 
relatives or even visitors of the tomb erected the 
small elevation and placed offerings on it. Deter- 
mining the date of these jugs still appears to be a 
problem, since this form was used for centuries. 
Nevertheless, we would like to propose a date 
from about the 8* to the 5 th century BCE. 

Within the group of jars and jugs there is quite a 
high percentage of another special type; mostly 
rim, foot and body sherds were excavated at the 
cemetery. Their affiliation with one group is 
proven by the special fabric that was not found in 
other pottery. In contrast to the miniature vessels 
and most of the normal sized ones the clay is 
mixed with a high quantity of sandy inclusions. 
The outer surface was treated in a special way, 
showing traces of a certain method of burnishing. 
The inside of the vessels is usually rough and 
unfinished, and very often finger impressions of 
the potter can be seen. Fortunately some complete 
profiles help to determine two main forms: The 
first one consists of a high and slightly out-turning 
foot, an oblong body, where the greatest diameter 
lies in the upper third, a distinct indention for the 
neck and an out-turning flaring rim (Cat. 9. 10). 
The second form possesses more or less the same 
features, except that the body is more bulbous 
(Cat. 11. 12). While the bodies show mainly the 
same stylistic elements, the rims were finished in 
various ways (Cat. 13. 14). At the cemetery the 
variety of dimensions is remarkable, with the 
known heights ranging between 10 to 30 cm, the 
measured rim diameters between 6 to 18 cm. It 
seems quite interesting that rim sherds of these ves- 
sels were often used as ostraka with an inscription 
on the inner or outer surface of the rim. These jars 
are well known and can be observed at several 
excavations in South Arabia. They were also found 
in greater quantities in Yala, and in smaller num- 
bers in Hajar bin Humayd, in the Wadi al-Juba and 
the Wadi Bayhan, in Shabwa, Zabid and al-Hamid 
as well as, for example, in Najran in Saudi- 
Arabia and in Ethiopia. The published examples 
seem to represent more often the larger sizes, not 



' Ibidem 96 cai. 42 (right object). 
> Van Beek op.cit. 195 fig. 52 Type 1100 LCF 2. 
6 S. Japp, D>e Miniaturkeramik aus der Nekropole des 
Awim-Tempeli in Marib, ABADY 9 (2002) 142 f. 



Si 1 1. ted Pottery prom thb Cemetery op thi Awwi Tempi i in Marib 



71 




1j 





v 



Fig. 1 Complex of juglcts found on an eleva 




the smaller ones, of the cemetery 7 . They are desig- 
nated >egg-shaped- or 'torpedo-shaped' jars. Per- 
haps they were once used as liquid containers, but 
in Marib no remains of the content could be traced. 
In Hajar bin Humayd the jars as well as the exam- 
ples from a dwelling in Yala/Hafarl are dated to the 
7 century BCE. At other sites the period is sup- 
posedly somewhat longer, between the 8 1 to 6' 
century or even the 1 l' h to 5' h century BCE, dates 
that we can confirm for the Awam cemetery. These 
torpedo-shaped jars seem to be not only a typical 
but even an indicative type of Sabaean pottery. 

Beside these two groups that account for alto- 
gether more than 80% of all jugs and jars within 
the pottery ensemble of the Awam necropolis, 
there also arc some mainly handmade jugs and ju- 
glets with different forms and even quite special 
kinds of decoration. Because of their small number 
and their appearance [he billowing examples arc 
presumed to be imports, even though there is no 
distinct difference in fabric. Therefore they will be 
described in more detailed, in order to diaw the 
attention to the special w.i\ ol decoration: One 
example shows two zig-zag-lines framed In hori- 
zontal lines (Cat. 15). Drop-like designs filled with 



small dots hang from the lowest line. Similai in 
looks is a beige-slipped juglet; below the rim two 
horizontal lines frame a row of diagonal strikes 
{Cat. 16). Again, drop-like designs hang from the 
lower line, however only the circle at the end is 
filled with one dot. The space between the two 
drops is filled with three horizontal wavy lines. 
Small raised clay lumps were applied beside the 



Hajar bin Humayd: Van Keek op.cit. 170. 256 fig. 113 Jar 1. 

- Yala: A. dc Maigret, The Sabaean Archaeologit tl 
plexin iheWaeii V.la (1988) 15 fig. 23 no. 8. 10-15.-W.nl. 
al-Juba: W. D. Glanzman. Toward a classification and ehro 
nology of pottery from HR3, Wadi al-Jubah (Diss. 1 

site i,t Pennsylvania 1994) 308ft - Wadi Bayhin; J I I. 
Arramond. La Ceramique, in: J -I Breton-j ' h. Arra- 
mond - B. Coque-Delhuille - 1' Gentelle (ed I, I m 
aridedu Yemen antique 1 eWadi Bayhas 1 1998 -':: pi. 1-t 

- I [ajai Surban: Seipel op.cit. 296 cat. 2 l "> (centei object 
Zabid: Ch. ' iuk 1 Keall, Zabid Project Potter) M 
1995(1996)21 i ret thai 

the bulbous and ovoid bod) 
terms in a dwelling it md thai even here t he 

nm fragments were u\ed as ostraka. e^uite t 
n.\ in 1 thiopi 
Premiet 
P l 128 140, I 2. 



72 



Sabah Japp 



drops. The whole decoration is completed by a line 
of little punctuates. This kind of drop-like designs 
is reminiscent of pre-Axoumite ware, even though 
those examples were filled with crossed lines 8 . An- 
other juglet covered by an orange-beige slip, hori- 
zontally burnished, shows an unusual decor: just 
below the rim a line of hanging triangles were in- 
cised into the surface (Cat. 17). The tips of the tri- 
angles are connected by a wavy line and they are 
filled with diagonal lines. Another incised decora- 
tion is comprised of three horizontal bands filled 
altematingly with diagonal and x-shaped strokes 
(Cat. 18). Seemingly corresponding is another jug, 
completely preserved, with a neck decoration of 
vertical lines covered by diagonal ones (Cat. 19). 
On the body there are alternating triangles filled 
with horizontal strokes and wavy lines. Another 
singular and very elaborated thin-walled piece 
shows a carination below the long curved neck 
(Cat. 20). The outer surface is not only covered 
with a light orange and carefully burnished slip, 
but a line of small triangular notches follow the 
carination and below them several thin strokes run 
diagonally in opposite directions, covering the 
whole body. The following type, known until now 
from only two pieces, has a wavy line bordered by 
two horizontal lines, deeply incised into the clay 
below the neck, rendering a positive-negative im- 
pression (Cat. 21). From the lowest horizontal line 
start parallel vertical grooves, again deeply incised. 
Another single rim fragment and one body wall 
combine different types of horizontally, vertically 
and diagonally incised strokes as well as punctuates 
(Cat. 22. 23). The very extravagant decoration was 
placed on the upper part of the angled body. Per- 
haps vessels deriving from the Axoumite period 
can be brought as comparisons; here a similar 
covering of the body with vertical, horizontal and 
diagonal lines as well as punctuates is visible 9 . Just 
the lower part of a small juglet is preserved show- 
ing a deeply incised grid design (Cat. 24). Not an 
incised decoration but several horizontal lines of 
applied knobs cover a very bulbous type of jug, to- 
gether with a black burnished slip (Cat. 25). For all 
these jugs we can only assume a date within the 
main period of the Marib necropolis. 

The miniature vessels as well as some of the 
aforementioned jugs were perhaps produced and 
used between the 8 th and the 5 lh century BCE. 
Some other pottery types of normal size seem to 



belong to this period as well, for example, different 
kinds of deep bowls with decoration. The outer 
surface could be covered with, a closely spaced, 
deeply incised set of vertical lines emanating from 
the rim and arranged in several rows, or beneath 
the first row follows a single horizontally incised 
wavy line and below that a number of dot impres- 
sions (Cat. 26. 27). Quite similar pieces from the 
excavation in Yala and the stratigraphic probe in 
Wadi al-Juba (Hajar ar-Rayhani) can be dated 
between the 8 lh and 6* century BCE' . 

The same period can be applied to the multi- 
chambered-vessels. In Marib they are found in 
several variations with a flat base or a short foot, 
with short straight sides or a bulbous body, with 
four chambers or a round central and several side 
chambers in the interior (Cat. 28. 29). Another 
type of chamber vessel displays irregularly shaped 
chambers simply pressed into the body (Cat. 30t 
31). It seems that this kind of vessel had been 
used for different cosmetic substances. They are 
not bound to the necropolis; multi-chambered ves- 
sels were found in Yala", and even C. Rathjens 
mentioned a multi-chambered vessel bought in 
Sana'a, but originally deriving from the Jawf 12 . 

Easy to identify and dated by comparisons to 
the 8 th to 6 th century BCE are the fenestrated frag- 
ments that presumably originated from incense 
burners (Cat. 32. 33) 13 . 

Apparently later in date are vessels from a closed 
stratigraphic locus: At the base of tomb 20 near 
the mausoleum (area B) the sherds of about fifteen 
pieces of pottery were found, placed directly upon 
the rock (Fig. 2). After cleaning it was possible to 
restore twelve more or less complete vessels. Most 
of them seem to have survived a later fire, the outer 
surface shows grey-coloured spots in places and is 
chipped. Two different fabrics can be traced in the 

■ Idem, Maun, AE 7, 1967, pi. 42. 

' H. de Contenson, Trouvailles fortuites aux environs d'Ax- 
oum, AE 4, 1961, pi. 13. 

" Yala: personal communication of A. de Maigret. - Wadi 
al-Juba: W.D. Glanzman-A.O. Ghaleb, The Stratigraphic 
Probe ai Hajar ar-Rayhani. The Wadi al-Jubah Archaeo- 
logical Project III (1987) 91 fig. 5.1.15; 95 fig. 5.3. 

" Personal communication by A. de Maigret. 

" C. Rathjens, Sabaeica. Bericht fiber die archablogischen 
Ergebnisse seiner zweiten, dritten und vierten Reise nach 
Siidarabien II, MMVH 24, 1955, 299 pi. 621; 305 pi. 634. 

" The pieces from the Awam cemetery are very similar to the 
ones shown at the conference by C. Philipps, 



Si U POTTF-RY I-ROM THl Ce.MITIRY OP THE A^AM TtMI'l.E IN MaRIB 



73 




Fig. 2 Complex of pottery found at the bottom of tomb 20 



handmade vessels; however, the surface colour of 
reddish brown to brown and the diagonal burnish 
on the outer surface are identical. Six vessels are 
jars with a flat base, an oblong, egg-shaped body 
- just one piece has a globular body -, a vcrv short 
neck and an out-curving rim (Cat. 34. 35). Their 
only decoration is represented by a line of short 
vertical notches directly below the neck inden- 
tion. Their size is quite similar: the height varies 
between 41 to 46 cm, the rim diameter between 15 
to 18 cm. Moreover, two jugs with a different form 
could be recognized: they have rounded bases, and 
the widest diameter of the body lies in the lower 
part (Cat. 36). Furthermore, the fragments allowed 
the reconstruction of three vessels of quite unusual 
form, in contrast to other pottery finds from the 
necropolis. Two are fragmentary, but with one the 
whole profile exists. It exhibits a tulip-like body 
with a straight, sometimes in-curving rim (Cat. 37). 
The body ends in a thin, stick-like foot with a hol- 
low in the base. On one example some remains of 
white painted lines running diagonally along the 
outer surface and vertically below the rim could be 
recognized. Resembling ancient rhyta, these ves- 
sels were used perhaps as ladles or cups, and there- 
fore were inserted in the opening of the jars or 



were set into a tripod. Such a vessel-stand also 
belonged to the complex (Cat. 38). The last two 
objects can be identified as a small jug with a 
rounded body and a bowl with horizontal handles. 
The circumstances of the find, the size of the pieces 
and their similar treatment seem to lead to the con- 
clusion, that these vessels were made during the 
same period and form an ensemble of pottery, in- 
tentionally placed at the base of the tomb. We can 
interpret this perhaps as a foundation offering in 
the tomb or an offering for initiating the tomb's 
use. The form of these vessels as well as their fabric 
and the kind of burnishing are unusual within the 
pottery finds of the Awam cemetery now. Because 
ot the architecture of the tomb, its structure and 
the situation within the cemetery, its origin is dated 
around the 5' century BCE. Thus, an analogous 
date for the pottery should be assumed. There are 
comparable pieces for the jugs within the material 
of tombs in Samad in Oman". Form and size are 
similar, the sometimes slightlv varying decoration 



I' Yule, Die Graberfeldci in Samad .il Shan (Sultana! 
Oman) Materialien zu einei Kulturgeschichce, OrA 4 

■'-I 157 pL S3 fig I :. pi. 61 tii;. h 7; pi K fig . 
pi. 103 hs: -t. pi -'IS (lower left); pi. 12} fig. 10. 



74 



Sarah Japp 



was always placed below the neck indention, yet 
the vessels are not burnished. These tombs have 
been dated between 300 BCE and 1 000 CE, corre- 
sponding vessels between 300 BCE and 200 CE. 

Concerning the later period, between the 4 th and 
the 1 st century BCE, the material is not as wide- 
spread. Some amphora-like vessels and huge stor- 
age jars were unearthed as well as - until now - one 
rim of a classical black-glazed bowl with an out- 
turning rim from the first half of the 4 th century 
BCE (Cat. 39). 

Moreover, we have fragments of beakers and 
bowls with wavy rims, dated in Shabwa between 
the 2 nd century BCE and the 1" century CE 15 . Also 
a member of this group are vessels with a globular 
body. Their shoulder is formed like a protruding 
ridge, the zone above the ridge could be a straight 
or wavy rim (Cat. 40. 41). Unfortunately we found 
only fragments, rarely rims, so that the whole 
appearance could not be restored. The ridge was 
regularly pierced and little birds made of clay were 
placed between the holes. These birds have only 
two wings, a kind of head and a tail (Cat. 42). Some 
look as if they were originally covered with a light 
white wash. In addition, handles decorated with 
these little birds were recovered (Cat. 43). Perhaps 
these bird-vessels represent some of the later pot- 
tery material in the Awam necropolis. Whether 
this group is a typical Sabaean one still remains a 
question. 

Another unique piece might derive from this pe- 
riod. It displays a deep bowl with straight sides 
(Cat. 44). The outer surface shows precisely incised 
thin vertical and horizontal lines together with 
double circles arranged in vertical rows. This order 
resembles the decoration on stone vessels of the 
2 nd millennium BCE from Oman and the Emirates, 
however there single or double circles with a dot 
inside were placed in horizontal rows. During the 
1" millennium BCE the motif was transferred to 
pottery. Similar yet not identical in appearance are 
examples from the Dhofar that are dated between 
the 1" century BCE and the 4 ,h century CE 16 . 

In summary, at this point in research we can 
state that the normal sized pottery of the Awam 
necropolis in Marib derive from the period be- 
tween the 10 lh century BCE to the 2 nd century 
CE 17 . Some of the forms and types shown are simi- 
lar to those of other Sabaean find complexes; some 
of them have features that recall other regions. The 



majority go back to" the main occupation period of 
the necropolis, while some forms belong to earlier 
and later periods. 



Catalogue 



Area d, tomb 20, locus 20 

Broken base, straight body walls, angled shoulder and 
slightly out-turning rim with groove on the outer sur- 
face, tapered lip. 
Rim diameter: 6 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, some mica, quartz and chaff holes; 
clay colour: beige; surface colour: beige. 



Area a, tomb 2, locus 5 

Broken base, straight body walls, angled shoulder, out- 
turning rim, tapered lip. 
Rim diameter: 8 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, some mica, quartz and chaff holes; 
clay colour: beige-grey; surface colour: grey. 



Area d, locus 

Concave shaped base, angled body walls, rounded lip. 
Rim diameter: 6 cm; base diameter: 7 cm; height: 6,9 cm. 
Clay: quite dense, some mica, quartz and chaff holes; 
clay colour: brown; outer surface: reddish brown bur- 
nished slip, below the rim a line of small strokes, inner 
surface: reddish brown. 



11 Different kinds of bowls with wavy rims are among the 
material of the Awam cemetery. One group definitely be- 
longs to the other vessels from the 7 th to 5^ century BCE 
in view of fabric, surface and thickness of the walls. The 
other group mentioned here is characterized by the whitish 
colour of the surface and clay and by the thin walls and 
elaborated tapered rim. Other sites are, for example, 
Shabwa, Wadi Pura 1 , Wadi al-Juba, Wadi Bayhin: L. Badre, 
Le sondage stratigraphique de Shabwa, Syria 68, 1991, 279. 
293 fig. 27, 134-138; J.-F. Breton-M. Abd al-Qadir Bafa- 
qih, Trfsors du Wadi Dura' (1993) 40 no. 89. 90 pi. 20 
fig. 59. 60; Glanzman-Ghaleb op.cit. 99 fig. 5.7; Rathjens 
op. cie. 301 pi. 626. 

16 J. Zarins, Persia and Dhofar: Aspects of Iron Age Inter- 
national Politics and Trade, in: G. D. Young- M.W. Chava- 
las - R. E. Averbeck (ed.), Crossing Boundaries and Linking 
Horizons (1997) 670 f. fig. 17f. 

" Not mentioned are the fragments of Islamic glazed pottery 
stemming from the later reuse of the cemetery. 



Selected Pottery from the Cemetery op the Avam Temple in Marib 



75 



Area e,Jocus 1 

Flat base, angled body walls, rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 4,5 cm; base diameter: 4,7 cm; height: 

6,2 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, some mica, quartz and chaff holes; 

clay colour: light brown; outer surface: reddish brown 

burnished slip, inner surface: light brown. 



Area f, south of tomb 48, locus 1 

Out-turning high foot, vertical base, straight slightly 

concave shaped body walls, rounded lip, below the rim 

on the inner surface a protruding ridge. 

Decoration: vertical lines structuring the outer body 

wall, the bands filled alternatingly with red slip or 

another x-shaped line, three horizontal grooves below 

the rim and one above the foot. 

Rim diameter: 12,8 cm; foot diameter: 8,4 cm; height: 

13,1 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, some mica, quartz and chaff holes; 

clay colour: light brown; surface colour: beige and red 

burnished slip. 



Area d, locus 4 

Broken foot, diagonal base, straight slightly concave 
shaped body walls, tapered lip. 

Decoration: vertical lines structuring the outer body 
wall, the bands filled alternatingly with red slip or 
x-shaped/diagonal lines, red slip on the inner rim sec- 
tion. 

Rim diameter: 8 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, some mica, quartz and chaff holes; 
clay colour: greyish; surface colour: beige and red bur- 
nished slip. 



Clay: quite dense, little mica, few chaff holes; clay 
colour: greyish brown; outer surface: dark brown 
slip. 



Area a, locus 15 

Broken foot, oblong body wall with the widest diameter 

in the shoulder section, short neck and out-turning rim, 

tapered lip. 

Rim diameter: 11 cm. 

Clay: dense, small and medium sized mineral inclusions; 

clay colour: reddish brown; surface colour: light reddish 

brown. 



10 

Area a, tomb 1, locus 9 

Long out-turning foot, oblong body wall with the 

widest diameter in the upper section, short neck and 

out-turning rim, rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 6,7 cm; foot diameter: 6,5 cm; height: 

18 cm. 

Clay: dense, small and medium sized mineral inclusions; 

clay colour: reddish brown; surface colour: reddish 

brown. 



11 

Area a, tomb 1, locus 9 

Long foot, bulbous body wall with the widest diameter 

in the lower section, short neck and out-turning rim, 

rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 7,8 cm; foot diameter: 10 cm; height: 

14 cm. 

Clay: dense, small and medium sized mineral inclusions, 

some chaff holes; clay colour: red; surface colour: light 

reddish brown. 



Area d, south of tomb 37, locus 19 
Broad short foot, bulbous body with the widest diame- 
ter in the lower part, short out-turning rim and tapered 
Up. 

Rim diameter: 3,9 cm; foot diameter: 6,4 cm; height: 
8,8 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, little mica, few chaff holes; clay 
colour: orangish brown; outer surface: dark red slip. 



12 

Area d, locus 19 

Long foot, bulbous body wall with the widest diameter 

in the shoulder section, short neck, rim broken. 

Foot diameter: 7 cm. 

Clay: dense, small and medium sized mineral inclusions, 

few chaff holes; clay colour: yellowish brown; surface 

colour: yellowish brown. 



Area d, south of tomb 37, locus 20 
Broad out-turning foot, bulbous body with the widest 
diameter in the center, short straight neck and out-turn- 
ing rim, tapered lip. 

Rim diameter: 4,2 cm; foot diameter: 6,5 cm; height: 
10,8 cm. 



13 

Area d, locus 20 

Short out-turning rim, rounded lip, very bulbous body 

wall. 

Rim diameter: 9,6 cm. 

Clay: dense, small and medium sized mineral inclusions; 

clay colour: brown; surface colour: reddish brown. 



76 



Saaah Japp 



14 

Area e, locus 1 

Long nearly horizontal rim, tapered lip, long neck. 

Rim diameter: 9,3 cm. 

Clay: dense, small and medium sized mineral inclusions, 

few chaff holes; clay colour: reddish brown; surface 

colour: yellowish brown. 

15 

Area f, locus 

Very bulbous body walls, short straight rim with 

rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 6 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica and few chaff holes; clay 

colour: grey; outer surface: dark grey burnished slip. 

16 

Area b, locus 1 

Bulbous body walls, out-turning rim with rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 4,4 cm. 

Clay: very dense, mica and few chaff holes; clay colour: 

grey; outer surface: greyish beige burnished slip. 

17 

Area f, locus 

Bulbous body walls, short out-turning rim with tapered 
li p . 

Rim diameter: 4,8 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica and few chaff holes; clay 
colour: light brown; outer surface: yellowish beige bur- 
nished slip. 

18 

Area d, locus 

Bulbous body walls, out-turning rim with thick rounded 

up. 

Rim diameter: 7 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica and few chaff holes; clay 

colour: grey; outer surface: black burnished slip. 

19 

Area a, locus 18 

Globular body with rounded base, out-turning long rim 

with tapered lip. 

Rim diameter: 6,5 cm; height: 1 1 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica and few chaff holes; clay 

colour: yellowish brown; outer surface: beige-brown 

burnished slip. 

20 

Area g, locus 

Bulbous body walls, carinated shoulder, long concave 

shaped neck and thick rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 6,2 cm. 



Clay: very dense, little mica and nearly no chaff holes; 
clay colour: reddish brown; outer surface: yellowish 
beige burnished slip. 

21 

Area b, locus 

Bulbous body walls, out-turning thickened rim with 
rounded lip. 
Rim diameter: 7,5 cm. 

Clay: dense, little mica, few quartz and lime inclusions, 
some chaff holes; clay colour: greyish black; outer sur- 
face: black burnished slip. 

22 

Area a, locus 

Vertical body wall with carination in the center, short 
vertical rim with tapered Up. 
Rim diameter: 7 cm. 

Clay: dense, little mica, few quartz and lime inclusions, 
some chaff holes; clay colour: reddish brown; outer sur- 
face: red burnished slip. 

23 

Area a, locus 

Part of the vertical upper body wall, rim broken. 
Clay: dense, litde mica, few quartz and lime inclusions, 
some chaff holes; clay colour: brown; outer surface: 
brown burnished slip, 

24 

Area b, tomb 15, locus 16 

Broken rim, very bulbous body walls, out-turning foot. 

Foot diameter: 4,1 cm. 

Clay: dense, little mica, few quartz and lime inclusions, 

few chaff holes; clay colour: black; outer surface: black 

burnished slip. 

25 

Area d, locus IS 

Very bulbous body walls, out-turning rim with tapered 

lip. 

Rim diameter: 7,8 cm. 

Clay: very dense, some mica, some small quartz, lime 

and mineral inclusions; clay colour: black; outer surface: 

greyish black burnished slip. 

26 

Area d, locus 19 

Deep bowl with straight body walls, straight rim with 
pointed lip, outer surface covered with four lines of ver- 
tical strokes. 
Rim diameter: 22,8 cm. 

Clay: dense, some mica, few chaff holes and lime inclu- 
sions; clay colour: brown; surface colour: beige. 



Selected Pottery from the Cemetery of the Atam Temple in Marts 



77 



27 

Area d„ locus 6 

Deep bowl with straight body walls, straight rim with 
pointed Up, below the rim on the outer surface one 
row of vertical strokes, a wavy line and three lines of 
punctuates, on the inner surface below the rim a hori- 
zontal small handle. 
Rim diameter: 13 cm. 

Clay: dense, some mica, few chaff holes, some lime and 
mineral inclusions; clay colour: yellowish brown; sur- 
face colour: yellowish brown. 

28 

Area a, tomb 1, locus 11 

Long foot, horizontal base, straight body walls, incurving 

rim and tapered lip, two crossing walls in the interior 

reaching from the base to the beginning of the rim section. 

Rim diameter: 5,0 cm; foot diameter: 6,1 cm; height: 

7 cm. 

Clay: dense, some mica, few chaff holes; surface colour: 

whitish beige. 

29 

Area b, locus 

Convex formed base with round impressions, straight 

body walls, straight rim and rounded Up, one round and 

the remains of five side chambers. 

Rim diameter: 15,9 cm; height: 4,6 cm. 

Clay: dense, some mica, some chaff holes and quartz 

inclusions; clay colour: greyish brown; surface colour: 

greyish brown. 

30 

Area b, locus 

Rectangular flat vessel with horizontal base and straight 

walls, on the inside three rounded impressions and two 

flat grooves. 

13,3 x 10,1 cm; height 4,6 cm. 

Clay: very dense, few mica, few chaff holes; clay colour: 

orange; surface: reddish brown burnished sUp. 



smaU elUptic punctuates, in the center a round hole, 

on the remaining straight body walls again rectangular 

holes. 

Max. diameter 8,6 cm; preserved height 2,8 cm. 

Clay: dense, some mica, some chaff holes; some Ume, 

quartz and mineral inclusions; clay colour: reddish 

brown; surface colour: reddish brown. 

33 

Area a, locus 15 

Upper part of the vessel with irregularly shaped holes 
and smaU punctuates, in the center a round hole, over- 
arched by two stripes of clay with punctuates, on the 
remaining straight body walls again rectangular holes. 
Max. diameter 9,5 cm; preserved height 3,5 cm. 
Clay: dense, some mica, some chaff holes; some lime, 
quartz and mineral inclusions; clay colour: reddish 
brown; surface colour: reddish brown. 

34 

Area b, tomb 20, locus 46 

Flat base, oblong body walls with the widest diameter in 
the upper section, neck indention and out-turning rim, 
tapered Up, small vertical strokes along the neck. 
Rim diameter: 18,2 cm; base diameter: 13 cm; height: 
45,5 cm. 

Clay: dense, lot of lime and quartz inclusions and some 
mica; clay colour: reddish brown; surface colour: red- 
dish brown, vertically burnished. 

35 

Area b, tomb 20, locus 46 

Flat base, bulbous body waUs with the widest diameter 

in the central section, neck indention and out-turning 

rim, rounded lip, small vertical strokes along the neck. 

Rim diameter: 18,4 cm; base diameter: 12 cm; height: 

38,4 cm. 

Clay: dense, lot of lime, quartz and other mineral 

inclusions, a lot of mica; clay colour: reddish brown; 

surface colour: brown, verticaUy burnished. 



31 

Area b, locus 

Rectangular flat vessel with rounded corners, horizontal 
base and straight walls, on the inside three rounded im- 
pressions, one flat groove and one short groove, one- 
third of the vessel broken. 
10,8x9,9 cm; height 1,7 cm. 

Clay: very dense, few mica, few chaff holes; clay colour: 
brown; surface: reddish brown burnished sUp. 



36 

Area b, tomb 20, locus 46 

Rounded base, slightly curved body waU, out-turning 

rim with rounded lip, just below the rim a horizontal 

groove on the inside, another one on the outer surface. 

Rim diameter: 22 cm; height: 34,2 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, high amount of fine mica, some chaff 

holes; clay colour: Ught brown; surface colour: beige to 

reddish brown, burnished. 



32 

Area e, locus 1 

Upper part of the vessel with rectangular holes and 



37 

Area b, tomb 20, locus 46 

SmaU long stem with concave shaped base, tuUp-shaped 



78 



Sarah Japp 



upper part with nearly straight body walls and tapered 
lip. 

Rim diameter: 1 8,7 cm; stem: 4 cm; height: 26,7 cm. 
Clay: quite dense, high amount of fine mica, some chaff 
holes; clay colour: brown; surface colour: brown, 
vertically burnished, along the rim horizontally bur- 
nished. 



38 

Area b, tomb 20, locus 46 

Standing vessel with a bigger diameter at the base, in- 
curving body walls and nearly straight rim section, 
rounded lip. 

Rim diameter: 8,5 cm; base diameter: 16,7 cm; height: 
16,7 cm. 

Clay: quite dense, high amount of fine mica, some chaff 
holes; clay colour: reddish beige; surface colour: whitish 
beige, perhaps self-slip. 

39 

Area b, locus 

Flat bowl with nearly straight body walls, rim thickened 
and rounded, on the outer surface below the rim a hori- 
zontal groove. 
Rim diameter: 13 cm. 

Clay: very dense, fine, without visible inclusions; clay 
colour: beige; surface: black slip. 

40 

Area d, tomb 30/31, locus 5 

Flat bowl with nearly straight rim section above a cari- 
nation, in the upper part it is a wavy rim, lip broken, 
along the carination a protruding pointed ridge regu- 
larly pierced, between the holes fragments of two little 
birds. 

Clay: very dense, some mica and quartz inclusions, few 
chaff holes; clay colour: beige brown; surface colour: 
tight beige. 



41 

Area b, tomb 28, locus 34 

Straight rim section, in the upper part it is a wavy rim, at 

the lower part a protruding pointed ridge regularly 

pierced, between the holes just few remains of one little 

bird. 

Clay: very dense, some mica and quartz inclusions, few 

chaff holes; clay colour: beige brown; surface colour: 

light beige. 

42 

Area b, locus 32 

Body fragment with application, little bird with ab- 
stractly shaped head, tail and two wings. 
2,5x1,8 cm; height: 1 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica, few chaff holes; clay colour: 
beige; surface colour: whitish beige. 

43 

Area b, locus 

Flat handle, broken on both sides, on the handle an 
applied little bird with closed wings. 
Preserved length: 4,1 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica, few chaff holes; clay col- 
our: beige brown; surface colour: light beige. 

44 

Area a, locus 

Deep bowl with nearly straight body walls and rim sec- 
tion, pointed Up. 
Rim diameter: 14 cm. 

Clay: very dense, little mica, few chaff holes; clay colour: 
beige-orange; surface colour: light beige. 



Address: 

Dr. Sarah japp, Neue Schonhauser Str. 14, 

D-10178 Berlin, sarahjapp@aot.com 



Saaah Iai'p: Selected Pottery from i mi I bmbtbky < AwAm Temple in Marib PLATE 1 



Cat. 1 





Cat. 2 



Cat. 3 





Cat. 3 



Cat. 5 




( .ii i 



Cat. s 



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PLATE 2 Sarah |\i'i': sii [i i m Pottery from the Cemetery 01 nu VwAm Temple in Maris 







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Sarah Japp: Selected Pottem prom reus Cemetek? oe int Awwi Temple in Marib PLATE 3 




Cat. 17 




Cat. 17 



Cat. 19 




Cat. 18 





Cat. 20 




Cat. 20 



Cat. 21 




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Cat. 28 



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Cat. 29 





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Cat. 32 



Cat. 33 



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Sarah Jaim-: Selii njD Pottery from the Cemetery op the Awam Temple in Marib PLATE 7 





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Cat. 43 




Cat. 42 




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86 Sarah Japp 



(Sarah Japp) 



:<>oil* 



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.(25 -24j 21 - 15 fSjSjH2S) SiSul jb& «>j» 

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ol j (>' Aj Oja— W^j • ■^M Ji* Jj 1 !" uJ 111 j tf l j> uj 511 OwU S>M J t»-> ^ SA. «-ij . JSiJI Ji 



Edward J. Keall 

PLACING AL-MIDAMMAN IN TIME. THE WORK OF THE 

CANADIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MISSION ON THE TIHAMA COAST, 

FROM THE NEOLITHIC TO THE BRONZE AGE 



) al-Hudayda 



yJ'Ghulayfiqa 



lal-Fazza 




•al-Kashawba 

I Zabid ■ • 
I •al-Midamman S • '. 



' • al-Mastur . qj 

•■ ■■'.■■.■!>« 

Hays •..•■.• ^ 



RED SEA 



I al-Mukha' 




Fig. 1 Relationship of sites in the area of Zabid 



The Canadian Archaeological Mission 
of the Royal Ontario Museum 

The funded mandate of the current field explora- 
tions of the Canadian Archaeological Mission of 
the Royal Ontario Museum in Yemen is a focus on 
environmental issues 1 . The overall purpose is to 
gain an appreciation in the study area of the differ- 
ent ways in which people adapted to changing cli- 
matic and ecological conditions. The study area is 
based in the Tihama, centred on Zabid (Fig. 1), and 
reaches from Bayt al-Faqih in the north, to Hays in 
the south, and from the Red Sea coast in the west to 
the foothills of the Surat highlands in the east. The 
time period targeted encompasses the entire 
Holocene - roughly the last 12 000 years. 

The work of the March- April 2001 field season 
has added significantly to the breadth of the 
Project's scope, in terms of the range of time in- 
volved, and in the varieties of cultures identified. 
Presented here are these new facts, along with a 



The Canadian Archaeological Mission of the Royal Ontario 
Museum operates in Yemen under a licence from the General 
Organization for Antiquities, Manuscripts and Museums, 
Dr. Yusuf 'Abdullah, President. Funding for the work 
described here has been received from the Royal Ontario 
Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and the 
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of 
Canada. A three-year award by the Social Sciences and 
Humanities Research Council of Canada was made in 1999 
to the main applicant Keall, along with the cited collabora- 
tion of 1. Hehmeyer, in support of »The changing ecology 
of Southern Arabia in the Holocene.* 



Edward J. Keall 



digest of the various other settlement patterns we 
have documented so far in our study area, which 
allows for them to be part of this overall relative 
chronology. It must be admitted openly that we 
still lack a firm chronology for anything except 
the medieval Islamic phases. It is, then, in the open 
spirit of the Rencontres Sabeennes that these 
hypotheses are presented here, so that others 
may be aware of what is coming to light. The per- 
son benefitting most from the presentation will 
be the writer himself, since he expects a profitable 
dialogue with those interested in these special 
topics. 



Excavation and Exploration Program 

IN AND AROUND THE ClTY, AND IN THE WadI 

Zabid District 

For the first decade of the Mission's program in 
Yemen, attention was directed towards investigat- 
ing different aspects of Zabid's Islamic past 2 . Not 
only was Zabid a still-thriving settlement with an 
interesting architectural heritage, but it was a place 
whose fame as a medieval university city gave it 
special status in the cultural heritage of Yemen 3 . 
Important discoveries were made. Perhaps one of 
the most significant of them was the exposure of an 
inscription inside the Citadel Mosque. It revealed 
that the 16 th century figure of Iskandar Mawz was 
responsible for major repairs to what was origi- 
nally a much older mosque, lending credence to 
the hypothesis that the original building dated to 
the M* century 4 . More importantly, the inscription 
declared support for a religious college in Iskan- 
dar's name, listing specific tracts of irrigated farm- 
land to provide income to sustain the institution 5 . 
The discovery served to underline the idea that it 
was Zabid's irrigation-based agricultural produc- 
tivity that served as the economic support for its 
culture, rather than overseas trade. 

Earlier studies in the Wadl Zabid, where the 
wide flood-course had exposed a vertical cross-sec- 
tion of sediments built up through years of spate 
irrigation 6 , had documented up to 11 m of accu- 
mulated deposit. Using the now generally accepted 
measure of an average accumulation of 1 cm per 
year for flood-deposited sediments 7 , we arrive at a 
figure in this case of eleven centuries. Since Zabid 
was first founded in the early 9 th century, the bot- 



tom layer of the sediments can credibly be judged 
to correspond to the historical beginnings of 
Zabid. The question one must naturally ask, then, 
is what evidence is there for artificial irrigation in 
the Wadl Zabid before the 9 th century? This has 
led, also, to the search for information about pat- 
terns of land use from even before Islam, from the 
Neolithic and earlier. Obviously, in order to estab- 
lish what these patterns were, one must have a rea- 
sonable sense of where each of the activities can be 
placed in time relative to one another, even though 
there are few precisely fixed horizons. Such clues 
as we have to create a rough chronological frame- 
work will be presented here, along with a descrip- 
tion of the pre-Islamic remains that have been 
documented in the study area. 



The Standing Stones of Al-Midamman 

Until 1997, apart from the survey recording of a 
single, though large pre-Islamic site just north of 



2 For the broad scope of the investigation into the Islamic 
period remains, from the beginning of the Project in 1982, 
see E.J. Keall, Archaologie in der Tihamah. Die Forschun- 
gen der Kanadischen Archaologischen Mission des Royal 
Ontario Museum, Toronto, in Zabid und Umgebung, 
Jemen-Report 30 no. 1, 1999, 27-32. 

J Ibidem; E.J. Keall, Les fouilles de la mission archeologique 
canadienne, in: P. Bonnenfant (ed.), Zabid, patrimoine 
mondial. Saba, Arts - Litterature - Histoire - Arable m<- 
ridionale 5/6 (1999) 19-23; idem, Canadian Archaeological 
Museum of the Royal Ontario Museum in Yemen, At- 
Musnad 1 no. 1, 2001, 93-92 (sic). 

* Idem, The Syrian Origins of Yemen's National Mosque 
Style, in: M. Fortin (ed.), Recherches canadiennes sur la 
Syrie antique. Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies, 
Bulletin 36. Actes du colloque annuel de la societe 1 cana- 
dienne des etudes mesopotamiennes, Quince 2000 (2001) 
221. 

' E.J. Keall - I. Hehmeyer, Sponsorship of a Madras*, Re- 
flecting the Value of Farmland in the Urban Economy of 
Zabid, Yemen, Al-'Usur al-Wusji 10, 1998, 35; and E.J. Keall, 
The Words on the Wall at Al-Iskandariyya, Rotunda 31/3, 
1999, 23-24. 

* Keall -Hehmeyer, Sponsorship a.O. 34; I. Hehmeyer - 
E. J. Keall, Water and Land Management in the Zabid Hin- 
terland, Al-'Usur al-Wusti 5, 1993, 26. 

7 A figure of 1.1 cm for an average annual sediment accumu- 
lation is cited in U, Brunner, Jemen. Vom Weihrauch zum 
Erddl (1999) 51. 



Placing Al-Midamman in Time 



89 



Zabid 8 , early settlement sites proved to be elusive. 
This changed dramatically in 1997 with the unex- 
pected discovery of a site of standing megalithic 
stones at al-Midamman, just inland from the Red 
Sea coast'. Two seasons of excavation have been 
completed, together with a preliminary geomor- 
phological study of the overall site area which is 
defined by a triangular space roughly 3 km to a side 
(Fig. 2). 

The region is badly deflated, with the present 
ground surface scoured in part by the wind to a 
level below that of the ancient landscape 10 . In other 
areas there are recent sand dunes which cover the 
ancient ground. The deflation is both a blessing 
and a curse. We have recovered from the deflated 
surface significant artifacts that might otherwise 
not have been found, but they are largely removed 
from their original context. Worse, they can be 
mixed with others from more recent times. How- 
ever, particularly since the second season of explo- 
ration (in 2000), there are now a sufficient number 
of artifacts that have been excavated in formal 
trench work, so that we may at least begin to asso- 
ciate them with different building activities. This 
rough artifact typology is our first step in the 
attempt to establish a site chronology. It should 
be quickly emphasized that no incontestably firm 
dates can be produced here. We still rely heavily 
for our rough chronology upon typological com- 
parisons of the artifacts with those from the work 
of others, such as W. Phillips, A. Sedov, B. Vogt, 
and J. Zarins. Since the chronology is still tentative 
in the extreme, I avoid the term >Period/Phase<, 
preferring >Activity/Facet (of activity)<, as the 
appropriate way to present our preliminary find- 
ings. While no attempt is made here to give precise 
dates for each of the different facets of activity, 
the overall cultural record of the site is listed here 
in rough chronological order, earliest first, as fol- 
lows: 



Activity I. Arabian Bifacial Tradition 

An ephemeral presence defined by the surface re- 
covery of stone projectile points and scrapers 
produced in the > Arabian Bifacial Tradition<". 
These would normally be defined as belonging 
to a Neolithic culture, say, from before 4000 
B.C. 12 . 



Activity II. Era of the Standing Stones 

This is the first monumental phase of the site. It 
is clear that a variety of stone types are involved; 
at least five types have been documented from a 



8 The site was originally reported in 1983 simply as »Gas Sta- 
tion,« because the site lay behind a then newly constructed 
petrol station (mahatta) alongside the Zabid highway, but 
did not otherwise have a local place name. The site was still 
referred to as STN (Gas Station) in C. Ciuk-E.J. Keall, 
Zabid Pottery Manual 1995. Pre-Islamic and Islamic Cera- 
mics from the Zabid Area, North Yemen. BAR International 
Series 655, 1996, 4. - Confusion resulting from others using 
different terms for *Gas Station,* like »Petrol Station* and 
•Filling Station* has prompted adoption of the name al- 
Kashawba. Muhammad al-Kashawba is the name of the fill- 
ing station owner, and those seeking the site should ask for 
Mahattat al-Kashawba. 

For the pottery from al-Kashawba described in E.J. Keall, 
The Dynamics of Zabid and its Hinterland: the Survey of 
a Town on the Tihamah Plain of North Yemen, World 
Archaeology 14, 1983, 385, and fig. 5, 1, the best compari- 
son was G. Lankester Harding, Archaeology in the Aden 
Protectorates (1964) 20, and pi. 7, 78, for which a 5*-6' h 
century B.C. date was suggested for pottery from Sabir. 
Keall's proposed l"-2 nd century A.D. date was largely 
derived through guesswork, and the thought that, in terms 
of technology, it did not seem to differ greatly from that of 
the early Islamic pottery in the area of Zabid. This notion, 
of course, has since proven to be completely false, see 
Ciuk-Keall, Zabid Pottery Manual op.cit. 11 f. pi. 1-10, 
where a likely mid-2 to mid-1" millennium B.C. date for 
this material is suggested. 

' E. J. Keall, Encountering Megaliths on the Tihamah Coastal 
Plain of Yemen, PSAS 28, 1998, 139-147; idem, Changing 
Settlement along the Red Sea Coast of Yemen in the Bronze 
Age, in: P. Matthiae et al. (ed.), Proceedings of the First 
Internationa] Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient 
Near East, Rome 1998 (2000) 719. 

10 E.J. Keall, Gone with the Wind. Erosion Makes Dating 
Difficult, Rotunda 32 no. 1, 1999, 6. 

11 No definitive study of these finds has been presented in 
print, but the Project's Lithic specialist has referred to this 
material in passing, as belonging to the >Arabian Bifacial 
Traditions cf. Geometric microliths of Yemen - Arabian 
Precursors, African Connections cf. D. Rahimi, Parting 
the Red Sea. Holocene Interactions between Northeastern 
Africa and Arabia, Paper presented at Society for American 
Archaeology, 66 th Annual Meeting, April 2001, New Or- 
leans. Reference to a >Neolithic technology* present in these 
stray surface finds that can be attributed to the >Arabian 
Bifacial Tradition' is also made, courtesy of Rahimi, by 
Keall, Encountering Megaliths op. cit. 720. 725. 

11 For recent archaeological developments in Southwest Ara- 
bia during the holocene see: C. Edens - T.J. Wilkinson, 
Journal of World Prehistory 12 no. 1, 1998, 63-68. 



90 



Edward J. Keall 




fields 
dunes 



HWN 



_ _ stone circles 
yardang dunes ~HWB 



WWW 

e " O stone circles 
a, BNF 



» V 



(C. ftl S "W ^W^^— standing stones 

^ \ ** / BaafiFadl 

C*-' (W stone impressions * ♦ * 4. 

\?J *s &. ll ' ^F » al-Midamman district 



»f 



N 

t 



al-Fazza mosque 



1km 



Fig. 2 Sites in the area of al-Midamman 



casual sampling 13 . These include granite, rhyolite, 
rhyolitic tuff, basalt, and sandstone. While more 
analytical work would be needed to determine 
their actual original sources, it is self-evident that 
all the stone has been hauled from a considerable 
distance away. The nearest foothills are 40 km 
distant (Fig. 1); the columnar basalt must have 
come from at least twice that distance. The differ- 
ent physical characteristics of the natural stone 
tended to suggest, at first, different phases of 
activity. Two sub-phases may eventually be dis- 
cerned, but no separation in time for the different 
facets of cultural expression has yet been defined. 
Whether individually placed as menhirs, or set up 
in some kind of alignment, these stone markers 
may only be attributed in general to a time when 
commemorative markers were an important cul- 



tural expression. The larger standing stones are 
best called here megaliths; the naturally slender 
pieces of columnar basalt are best referred to, for 
distinction, as (natural) pillars. Although pillars 
were sometimes found largely isolated, they were 
also found in conjunction with the megaliths, so 
no clear-cut distinction can as yet be made. The 
order of Activity-Facets II A-D is only hypotheti- 
cal. 



fi. G. Desjardine-R. B. Mason - E.J. Keall, A .New. Mega- 
lithic Culture from Yemen. Pottery and Stone Characterisa- 
tion by Petrographic Analysis, Paper presented at 32™ 1 Ar- 
chaeometry Symposium, Mexico City, 2000. 



Placing Al-Midamman in Time 



91 




Fig. 3 Pillars with infant burials (site HWA) 



Facet II A. Pillars with Infant Burials 
(site HWA) 

The evidence is firm that certain pillars were once 
set up -with infants buried beneath them, yet with- 
out burial goods (Fig. 3). Sacrificial internment is 
not out of the question. The traces are ephemeral, 
however, because of later use of the stone pillars 
for other purposes. 



Facet II B. Megaliths with Metal and Obsidian 
Cache (site HWB) 

The megaliths appear to form some kind of align- 
ment. A plausible interpretation is that this align- 
ment is towards the setting sun in mid-winter, 
which also corresponds with the sun's setting be- 
hind the southern tip of the highly visible Zuqar 
island. 



92 Edward J. Reall 



«■ 









tfVi 



""«,? T '••• l! • rf -v. ? . 



■>:.■.* 









& 



o 



f 



10m 



Fig. 4 Impressions of standing stones (site HWB) 



Placing Al-Midamman in Time 



93 



The unearthing of a deliberately buried cache of 
metal tools (grouped around a large core of ob- 
sidian) 14 provides the crucial date of between ca. 
2400-1800 B.C. for the setting up of the megaliths. 
The date is based upon a comparison of the metal- 
lography of the tools, as derived from instrumental 
analysis 15 . Other items that can be judged to have 
been deliberately interred in this setting include a 
variety of grinding stones. A modeled ceramic 
bull's head, now detached from the original vessel, 
is an important cultural indicator - but it is not 
much use as a chronological indicator, because its 
broken nature (detached from a vessel) may mean 
that it is displaced from its original context. 

Facet II C. Cluster of Stone Impressions 
(site HWB) 

Numerous stones of rhyolite or tuff were once set 
up in a cluster, though it is not clear whether this 
represented some kind of alignment (Fig. 4). All of 
these standing stones have been removed at a later 
time, for re-use elsewhere in the area of the site. 
Their position is marked by shallow impressions 
in the ground, surrounded by spalled stone 16 . No 
burial activity has been recorded. 

Facet II D. Adult Burial (site HWA) 

The lower portion of an adult male in flexed posi- 
tion 17 was recovered from a context where the 
burial was set beneath a commemorative stone of 
rhyolite. No grave goods were recovered. 



Activity III. Monumental Buildings and 
Graves 

The second monumental phase of the site is repre- 
sented by stone buildings and stone-lined graves. 
A different construction technique used for one of 
three buildings suggests two different sub-phases. 

Facet III A. Stone-lined Graves (site HWN) 

Stone-lined graves were built using (hypothetically) 
re-used standing stones (Fig. 5). The ceramic grave 
goods of whole vessels are generally comparable to 
those of the Ma'layba/Sabir assemblages 18 . On that 
basis, the al-Midamman vessels may be attributed 
to somewhere between 13 th -9 th century B.C. 



Facet III B. Partitioned Buildings 
(sites HWA, BNF) 

Two rectilinear buildings were constructed with 
foundation walls employing either roughly broken 
granite or largely intact basaltic and rhyolitic pil- 
lars. The stone used for building the walls above 
ground is of roughly dressed rhyolite 19 . Partitions 
of mud-brick divide the interior space into narrow 
aisles and hypothetically were foundation benches 
for wooden post roof-supports (Fig. 6. 7). An im- 
mediate loose parallel for this kind of arrangement 
can be found in Burned Building V at Sabir, dated to 
the end-2* d /beginning-l s ' millennium B.C. 20 . 

Facet III C. Decorated Facing Stone (site HWA) 

A monumental structure of poorly defined layout, 
apart from two long intersecting walls, consisting 
of roughly dressed rhyolite building blocks (Fig. 8). 
A trace of mud-brick suggests an interior partition. 
Highly significant are some finely dressed facing 
stones, and a few pieces of shallowly carved facade 
decoration. The decorations are readily paralleled 
in the Jawf, where temples of the Ma'Tnian culture 
bearing this kind of decoration have been attrib- 
uted dates of the 8 Ul century B.C. 21 . However, 
Lundin suggests that one of the inscriptions from 



M Keall, Encoutering Megaliths op. cit. fig. 8; idem, Do You 
Want to See the Stones?, Rotunda 30 no. 2, 1997, 14 (fig.). 

Is A. Giumla-Mair et al., Copper-based Implements of a 
Newly Identified Culture in Yemen, Journal of Cultural 
Heritage 1, 1999, 38. 

16 Keall, Stones, op. cit. 16 (fig. r.). 

" Ibidem 18 (fig.). 

18 V. Buffa - B. Vogt, Sabir - Cultural Identity between Saba 
and Africa, in: R. Eichmann-H. Parzinger (ed.), Migra- 
tion und Kulturtransfer, Kolloquien zur Vor- und Friih- 
geschichte 6, Berlin 1999 (2001) 439; B. Vogt-A.V. Sedov, 
Die Sabir-Kultur und die jemenitische Ktistenebene in der 
2. Halfte des 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr., in: W. Seipel (ed.), Jemen, 
Kunst und Archaologie im Land der Konigin von Saba', 
Exhibition Cat. Vienna (1998) 144-151 (fig.). 

19 Keall, Encountering Megaliths op. cit. fig. 8; idem, Chang- 
ing Settlement op. cit. fig. 4 (plan). 

" Vogt-Sedov, op.cit. 131f. (fig.). 

21 J.-F. Breton-J.-C. Arramond-G. Robine, Le Temple de 
'Athtar d'As-Sawda" (1990) 22 (fig.); J.-F. Breton, Der 
'Athtar-Tempel von as-Sawda' (dem antiken Nashshan), in: 
Seipel op. cit. 216; A. Fakhry, An Archaeological Journey to 
Yemen, March-May 1947 I-III (1952) fig. 99. 100. 



94 



Edward J. Keall 





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Fig. 5 Stone-lined graves (site HWN) 




Fig. 6 Stone building (site HWA, Building A) 



Placing Al-Midamhan in Time 



95 




Fig. 7 Stone building (site BNF) 



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Fig. 8 Stone building (site HWA, Building B) 



96 



Edward J. Keall 



the temples in question can be assigned a date 
towards the end of the 2 nd millennium B.C. 22 . 



Activity IV. Domestic Settlement 
(site HWB) 

Traces of a domestic settlement of ephemeral struc- 
tures, made (hypothetically) from palm fronds, is 
indicated mainly by the survival of hearths set 
some distance downwind from the flimsy, and 
easily combusted structures. Some of the hearths 
have been excavated, but no other substantial 
features have been found. The richest recovery 
comes from surface finds. The kind of occupation 
represented is reflected in the recovery of 
ceramics 23 , obsidian microliths, copper tools 24 , and 
grindstones. Grinding stones point to food pro- 
duction, as do many of the traits visible in the 
ceramic vessels. The pottery is paralleled by the 
Ma'layba/Sabir corpus, with a corresponding date 
(as with the graves) of ca. 13 th -9 th century B.C. 25 . 
The appearance of signs scratched before firing on 
a ceramic cover 26 , which seem to be either picto- 
grams, proto-alphabetic script, or a combination of 
both, fit reasonably within the suggested date 
range 27 . 

The obsidian lithics can be associated with a 
microlithic tradition that is more easily paralleled 
elsewhere, outside of the Tihama, particularly with 
finds recorded in Africa 28 . A 2 nd - 1" millennium 
B.C. date is proposed. Analysis of the copper 
cache from the megalithic site has been judged to 
be dated between 2400-1800 B.C. 2 ', and fragments 
recovered from the site surface have produced a 
finger-print that is comparable to that of the main 
cache 30 . But, given a possibility of the 8 lh century 
B.C. for the decorated building described under 
Activity III B, a more recent date for the general 
assemblage of copper implements is not out of the 
question. 



Activity V. Fire-cracked Stone Circles 
(sites HWN, WWW) 

Enigmatic circles of stone, fragmented through 
contact with fire, have been documented sporadi- 
cally but consistently right across the study area. 
Their widespread occurrence suggests that they 



have something to do with land use. It is apparent 
that a small block of stone (generally rhyolite) was 
set above a fire which caused it to fragment. The 
cracked stone bears discoloration due to the fire. 
Beneath the cracked stone can be observed a car- 
bon-rich deposit 31 . Unfortunately, these deposits 
do not contain charcoal. This is consistent with the 
use of date palm as a fuel - it has been observed that 
little charcoal remains after the burning of a palm. 
Fragments of grindstones are often also associated 
with these enigmatic fire-cracked stone circles, for 
which one may resort to the vague term •com- 
memorative marker* for an explanation of their 



Activity VI. Mollusc Middens and Scatters 
of Terebralia Shells 

The widespread presence of scattered marine Tere- 
bralia shells across the site was at first misleading. 
It gave the impression that there had once been an 
inland lagoon 32 - reinforced by the notion im- 
parted by the report of the earlier Italian Mission in 
the area that the coastline had been as much as 
10 km inland during the Neolithic 33 . However, 
both ideas are false. In the case of al-Midamman, all 



12 A. G. Lundin, Der Ursprung des stidarabischen Alphabets, 
Mare Erythraeum 1, 1997, 14. 

23 Keall, Encountering Megaliths op. cit. fig. 9. 10. 

24 Keall, Stones op. cit. 15 (fig.); Giumla-Mair ei al. op. cit. 
fig. 2. 4. 

25 Cf. Activity III A above, and n. 18. 

M Keall, Encountering Megaliths op. cit. fig. 10 b. 

" See Buffa-Vogt op. cit. 437, for reference to the 12* cen- 
tury B.C. beginnings of South Arabian script. - Lundin, 
op. cit. 14, refers to the origins of the script in Syria/ 
Palestine in the middle of the 2 nd millennium B.C., and its 
establishment in Yemen by the end of the millennium. 

" The African hypothesis was convincingly presented as Geo- 
metric microliths of Yemen. Arabian Precursors, African 
Connections by Rahimi op. cit. (n. 11). 

" Cf. n. 15. 

10 A. Giumla-Mair et al.. Investigation of a Copper-based 
Hoard from the Megalithic Site of al-Midamman, Yemen: 
an Interdisciplinary Approach, Journal of Archaeological 
Science, 29, 2002, 198. 

11 Keall, Stones op.cit. (n. 14) 16 (fig. 1). 

" Keall, Changing Settlement op. cit. (n. 9) 726. 

" M. Tosi, Archaeological Activities in the Yemen Arab Re- 
public 5. Tihamah Coastal Archaeology Survey, EW 55, 
1985, 365. 



Placing Al-Midauman in Time 



97 



the mature Terebralia shells show signs of their 
having teen harvested for use. The tip has in every 
case been broken off - an action that detaches the 
anchoring muscle and allows the meat to be ex- 
tracted. The harvested Terebralia were clearly 
treated this way in discrete quantities, exploited 
one basket at a time, not at a central midden site. 
Once discarded, these small quantities were easily 
scattered across the landscape by the actions of 
surface water movement and the passing of herded 
animals. In one part of the site, towards the eastern 
side, small discrete middens of clam shells were 
recorded. 

Terebralia shells with the distinctively broken 
tip apparent have been recorded in deep bands of 
alluvium visible in exposed sections of the sand- 
cliffs at the coast, 2 km distant. The implications 
are that there were once periodic floods suffi- 
ciently strong to carry sediments as far as the coast. 
This observation has extremely important implica- 
tions for establishing dates for the occupation of 
the site. 



A Window of Opportunity for Settlement 
at the Coast in the Bronze Age 

The obscure environmental phenomenon of dis- 
carded sea-shells being washed by flood water as 
far as the coast can be seen to contribute something 
significant to the debate about the site's chro- 
nology. From T Wilkinson's observations about 
settlement patterns and land-use in the Yemeni 
Highlands during the Bronze Age M , it is apparent 
that the combination of a drying climate in con- 
junction with large population growth resulting 
from earlier more moist times had disastrous envi- 
ronmental consequences. It is significant for inter- 
pretation of the al-Midamman sites that Wilkinson 
argues that significant soil erosion in the highlands 
commenced around 3000 B.C. 35 , just before the 
time of our main activities at the coast. 

One may infer that, in time, stability was 
brought to the highland landscape by terracing, 
and by setting in place checks and balances to trap 
surface water and retard run-off, for irrigation 
farming. However, until these systems were devel- 
oped in the highlands, particularly perhaps in re- 
sponse to state-funded capital-investment initia- 
tives, the now over-grazed and deforested hillsides 



were an environmental disaster. Surface water ran 
off unchecked, building to form floods with suffi- 
cient strength to reach the coast. Such floods nor- 
mally only occur to-day perhaps once a century. In 
the late Bronze Age we may envisage this happen- 
ing on a regular basis. 

The ecological disaster in the Highlands pro- 
vided an unexpected window of opportunity for 
settlement at the coast 36 . It is argued here that the 
thick bands of alluvium deposited at the coast 
and bearing harvested Terebralia shells represent 
human activity in the area during the late 3 -early 
1" millennium B.C. The regularly deposited flood 
sediments could be farmed. When the checks and 
balances were put in place in the Highlands in the 
1 st millennium, this window of opportunity at the 
coast closed. 



Our Earliest Documented Record of 
Human Settlement in the Tihama 

In March of 2001, the ROM Project turned its 
attention to the foothills of the mountains behind 
the city of Hays, to the narrow valley of the Wadl 
Fuwayl where an overhanging cliff bears images 
painted in red ochre on the rock face 37 . The painted 
»rock-shelter« of al-Mastur (Map, Fig. 1) has some 
150 metres of rock face that has been used for 
painting human and animal figures, schematic de- 
vices, and symbols, applied by finger in red ochre. 
In all likelihood they were produced by a single 
group of people. Admittedly, we face the same 
dilemma as others in studying rock art around the 
world, that it is notoriously hard to interpret, and 
difficult to date. This is particularly true of Yemen 
where the cultural record has been little studied. 
The same problems of age, as well as of interpreta- 
tion - including seeing the representations as pos- 



34 T. Wilkinson, Settlement, Soil Erosion and Terraced Agri- 
culture in Highland Yemen: a Preliminary Statement, PSAS 
29, 1999, 183-191. 

>s Ibidem 189f. 

36 I. Hehmeyer-E.J. Keall, Traditional Water Management 
Practices in Southern Arabia: Human Dimensions of Glo- 
bal Change: a Mandate for Anthropological Engagement, 
Paper presented at American Anthropological Association, 
99 th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 2000. 

37 E.J. Keall, Rock Art Mystery in Yemen, Rotunda 34 no. 1, 
2001, 4. 



98 



Edvakd J. Keali. 



sible hunters, magicians, story-tellers, deities - are 
neatly expounded in M. Khan's presentation of 
painted rock-art from the northern part of the Ara- 
bian peninsula 38 . In the case of al-Mastur, the 
greatest enigma is the appearance of an image that 
gives the impression of an animal-drawn wheeled 
vehicle. This makes no sense at the moment in the 
context of the landscape here, for any of the pos- 
sible time-frames discussed below, whether for an 
earliest possible date, or for more recent times. 

Our figures include humans - literally stick 
figures, presented frontally, with body, arms, legs 
and neck, but no defined head depicted. One of the 
complex drawings suggests a person inside a corral. 
Another stick figure has bow-legged lower limbs, 
upper limbs that split into two, and a noticeable 
protuberance between the legs, presumably a male 
organ. What is curious, in this regard, is that the 
other stick figures which lack the protuberance do 
not have either the usual fertility characteristics of 
a female figure in ancient art - namely, breasts, 
wide hips, and a pubic triangle. 

Animals, by contrast, are presented in profile. 
They include the ibex. The modeling of the animals 
is more robust than that of the human stick figures, 
but there is nothing to suggest different ages for 
their production. Other painted designs include 
schematic devices have been interpreted as hunting 
traps, adding to the connotation of activity con- 
nected with animals. The symbolic devices may 
best be termed >wusum characters< 3 ', implying 
some kind of personal identity marker. In this case 
we may have to acknowledge the possibility of 
domestic animals, with the obvious implications 
for dating that such a combination would provide. 

Excavations beneath the paintings produced 
microlithic stone tools that belong to the Epipaleo- 
lithic tradition of technology (from before 8000 
B.C.) 40 . At the end of the valley, a settlement site 
(al-Hunduba) produced artifacts of a similar tech- 
nological tradition, although the tool assemblage 
was different. Circumstantial evidence suggests the 
lithics and the paintings belong together. As a re- 
sult, one may associate the two sites to the same 
human activity - namely hunting or herding. But 
the Epipaleolithic or even Pre-Pottery Neolithic is 
an implausibly early date for the paintings, for the 
use of painted stick figures would not normally be 
dated much earlier than about 2500 B.C. Yet one 
must recognise that the attributions of such a date 



for other paintings elsewhere in Arabia is equally 
unfirm. Generally, red-painted stick figures are 
placed in the 2 ai -\" millennia B.C". Since the 
tool technology from the Wadi Fuwayl is different 
from - and earlier in tradition than - the Arabian 
Bifacial Tradition recorded elsewhere in the study 
area, perhaps we may conclude that the paintings 
could be at least as old as 4000 B.C. Yet we may 
also conclude that in this remote valley of the 
Yemeni foothills, an archaic tradition of stone-tool 
technology could have survived longer than it may 
have done elsewhere in Arabia and the Near East 42 . 

Chronological Summary of Human 
Activity in the Zabid Study Area, m the 
Holocene 

1 . Pre- or early Neolithic hunting and/or herding 
activity in the foothills of the Highlands, ac- 
companied by rock-painting and use of archaic 
Epipalaeolithic tool tradition: ca. 6000-4000 
B.C. 



J! M. Khan- A.-R. sJ-Kabawi- A.-R. al-Zahrani, Preliminary 
Report on the Second Phase of Comprehensive Rock Arc 
and Epigraphic Survey of Northern Province 1405/1985, 
Atlal 10, 1986, 89. 

39 Cf. M. A. Nayeem, The Rock Art of Arabia. Saudi Arabia, 
Oman, Qatar, the Emirates 6c Yemen (2000) 230. 492 (fig.). 

w This preliminary identification was made by D. Rahuni, 
following a cursory examination of a type sample brought 
back to the Royal Ontario Museum. 

41 A 2 nd - 1" millennium B.C. date for stylised stick figures in 
Dhofar is imparted by Nayeem op. cit- 434—447 fig. XX 
31-49. Similar red-painted stick figures are illustrated from 
the area of Ra'da, ibidem 482 fig. XXI 65. Stick figures at 
Jebel Makhrouq, near Sa'da, in northern Yemen, have been 
classified as 'Style 1II< and therefore attributable to the 
■Bronze Age> (M.-A. Garcia -M. Rachad, L'art des origines 
au Yemen [1997] 33). Yet the only substantiated date for the 
Jebel Makhrouq site is a radio-carbon date of ca. 4000 B.C. 
(M.-A. Garcia et al., Decouvertes prehistoriques au Yemen. 
Le contexte archeologiques de l'art rupestre de la region de 
Saada, Comptes rendus de l'Academie des sciences, Serie II 
313 [1991] 1206). - In support of an ►early* date one may 
cite a suggested Chalcolithic attribution (3500-2500 B.C.) 
for the Northern Province of Saudi Arabia where appro- 
priate comparanda are to be observed, see Khan op. cit. 87. 

" For a similar judgement regarding African lithic tech- 
nology, including that from a site in Eastern Zambia with 
both red-painted stick figures and backed microtiths, espe- 
cially for the Kalemba cave site, see D.W. Phillipson, The 
Prehistory of Eastern Zambia, British Institute in Eastern 
Africa, Memoir 6 (1976) 4. 



Placing Al-Midamman in Time 



99 



2. Neolithic hunting activity along the coastal 
plain using the South Arabian Bifacial Tradi- 
tion of tool technology: ca. 4000-2500 B.C. 

3. Bronze Age settlement of al-Midamman near 
the coast, based on farming the flood deposits: 
ca. 2500-800 B.C. 

4. Substantial late Iron Age-Himyaritic occupa- 
tion largely absent (at least not traced). Hypo- 
thetical presence of pastoralists, based on the 
fact that Islam was brought to the Tihama at 
an early date (presumably because there were 
people living there), and that soon after this 
the 'Abbasid authorities felt obliged to send 
a governor »to settle the tribes* 43 . 

5. State-sponsored settlement in the Tihama doc- 
umented from the 9 century onwards, begin- 
ning with the formal foundation of Zabid as a 
city by the military governor Ibn Ziyad, as 
despatched from 'Abbasid Iraq 4 *. 

6. Investment by local dynasties, especially by 
the Rasulids in the 13 th — 15 1 * 1 centuries, in irri- 
gation agriculture 45 . Textual references to irri- 
gation systems built in the Wadl Zabid. 

7. Earliest written record of the traditional irriga- 
tion system documented for the early 16 cen- 



tury, but an earlier tradition, at least to the 13 th 
century, implied through the existence of legal 
rulings regarding water use 46 . 

8. Ottoman occupation in the 16 century 47 and 
an end to creative investments in new infra- 
structure; exploitive imperialism. 

9. Zabid margianalized in terms of the Yemeni 
economy as European trade interests focus in- 
creasingly on the port of al-Mukha' (Mocha). 
Foreign merchants deal direcdy with whole- 
salers in Bayt al-Faqih for the purchase of 
coffee 48 . 

10. Zabid still viable as a regional administrative 
and market centre in the 18 th century, but its 
hey-day as a university city is over. In the 20 
century Zabid seen as a quaint town with an 
interesting architectural heritage, mostly from 
the past. 



Address: 

Dr. Edward J. Keall, Royal Ontario Museum, 
100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario MiS 2C6, 
Canada, edk@rom.on.ca 



43 'Abd al-Muhsin Mad'aj M. al-Mad'aj, The Yemen in Early 
Islam. A Political History, 9-233/630-847 (1988) 208. 

44 Ibidem 209-211. 

45 I. Hehmeyer, Physical Evidence of Engineered Water Systems 
in Mediaeval Zabid, PSAS 25, 1995, 49. 

46 N. H. Salamah, Customary Water-rights in Mediaeval Wadl 
Zabid: Some Legal Cases on al-'adU bi'I-qana'ah, PSAS 29, 
1999, 138. 

47 C. G. Brouwer, Al-Mukha. Profile of a Yemeni Seaport as 
Sketched by Servants of the Dutch East India Company 
(VOC) 1614-1640 (1997) 145-170. 

48 Ibidem 64 f. Brouwer does not specifically mention the 
resulting financial loss felt by Zabid, but the detrimental 
impact can be deduced from the fact that Zabid was no 
longer the central focus of economic activity in the region. 



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SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE SOUTH ARABIAN BAYT 



During the second excavation campaign of the 
Italian-French mission to Tamna' (September- 
October 2000), among other things we excavated 
several private dwellings in the so-called Market 
Place (Sector B), more or less in the centre of the 
extensive ruins of Hajar Kuhlan 1 . In particular, 
complete maps were made of House B/A (9.80 m x 
7.20 m) with its N-S alignment, and of House B/B 
(9.60 m x 7.80 m) with its E-W alignment (Fig. 1). 
The latter, to which was subsequently added an 
annex on the South-side (House B/C), was identi- 
fied from an inscription found on the North-side, 
as »Bayt Ya'ud«. 

The remains of the two buildings consist of the 
lower stone floors (the walls of the upper 
storeys, as can be seen in the collapsed portions, 
must have been made of mud brick with wooden 
skeleton), having no openings and respectively, 
1.80 m and 2.10 m tall. They consist: a) of a power- 
ful outer wall with foundations jutting inwards 
and double curtain vertical walls with isodomic 
rows of rough hewn granite blocks; and b) an 
inner grid of walls at right angles to the former 
arranged according to a ground plan in which the 
area of the house is divided longitudinally into 
three parts so as to delimit a regular and symmetri- 
cal series of small rooms in the lateral aisles and at 
the rear. The fact that the inside walls do not abut 
the outer wall shows that the latter were subsequent 
to the former but also, if we consider the slight 
overall inward slope of the whole construction, 
they had the function of buttressing the outer wall. 

Access to the house (at least in the case of House 
B/B) was by a staircase that, built on one of the 
short sides, led up to the top of the base stone floor. 
From here, a (no longer conserved) doorway led 
to a central passage, the paved floor of which was 
brought up to level by the filling of the central lon- 



gitudinal room on the base stone floor of the build- 
ing. The passage led to a staircase at the back which, 
mounted on the filling of the middle room at the 
back, provided access to the upper floor. 

The plastered walls and the filling produced by 
the collapse of the upper floors, together with a 
number of everyday objects, indicate that the small 
rooms in the side aisles, at Tamna' were mainly left 
empty, probably to be used as storehouses. Access 
to the lower levels of the pavements must have 
been provided by the central passage, apparently 
by means of a wooden staircase. The structures 
separating the central passage and the side aisles 
acted as supports for the upper floor lofts and may 
have consisted either of walls (with openings for 
the side aisles) or even of pillars, presumably sup- 
ported by the points of intersection of the under- 
lying walls 2 . 

The architectonic typology of these houses had 
already been observed at Tamna' by the Mission of 
the American Foundation for the Study of Man in 
the early '50s (Fig. 2 c) 3 and by the Englishman 
Brian Doe in the mid '60s 4 , although it is extremely 



1 The excavation of the Sector B was directed by S. Antonini; 
other participants were also Ph. Aycard, K. al-'AnsI and 
E. Pisa; surveys by P. Neury and V. Samson. 

2 See, for instance, the pillars in the house adjacent to the 
Bayt Yafash (House B) and in House D, excavated at the 
beginning of the '50s by the Americans in the quarter 
around the >South Gate< of Tamna', visible in the plan view 
recently published by J.-F. Breton, Les villes du Yemen 
antique, Dossiers d'archeologie 263 (2001) 25. 

1 G.W. Van Beek, Recovering the Ancient Civilization of 
Arabia, Biblical Archaeologist 15, 1952, 2-18; W. Phillips, 
Qataban and Sheba. Exploring Ancient Kingdoms on the 
Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia (1955) 90 ff. 

' About 100 m West of the large building TT1: cf. B. Doe, 
Southern Arabia (1971) 220 fig. 37; idem, Monuments of 
South Arabia (1983) 131 ff. 



102 



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Some Reflections on the South Arabian Batti- 



103 



widespread and is related to many other cities, 
from W<adi Harlb (Hinu az-Zurayr, Hajar Dhahba, 
Hajar Kuhayla) 5 to Wadi Markha (Hajar Yahirr, 
Hajar Khamuma [Fig. 2d], Hajar Talib) 6 , from 
Shabwa (Fig. 2 e) 7 to Wadi Hadramawt (Mashgha, 
Suna [Fig. 2 b], Qarat Kibda) 8 . Also the time span 
is quite wide, ranging from l"-2 nd century A.D. 
(Tamna') to at least the 8-/* h century B.C., as is 
shown by the plan of the private house excavated 
by our Italian Mission in 1987 at Yala, in eastern 
Khawlan (Fig. 2 a)'. 

Disregarding for the moment the specific func- 
tional reasons leading up to the conception and 
construction of these tall masonry ground floors 10 , 
we must point out at this stage that their ground 
plan and structural layout do not seem to be re- 
stricted to private houses alone and actually seem 
to apply also to other architectural categories, such 
as temples and perhaps tombs. 

This notation could prove important because, if 
it is true, it would indicate a possible original con- 
ceptual unity in South Arabian architecture, allow- 
ing us to appreciate more fully the logic behind its 
historical-artistic development and, in the present 
case, to seek out its possible underlying motives. 



Comparison with the temples can begin with the 
temple of Nakrah in Baraqish (Fig. 3 a). My exca- 
vation of the latter in 1990-92 perhaps gave me a 
more direct opportunity to highlight the above- 
mentioned analogies with private houses that, as 
we shall see, are not only related to ground plan 
but are also structural in nature 11 . 

This temple, probably built in the 7-6 A century 
B.C. and used until 1" century B.C., is built on a 
base that, although lower, seem to exactly repro- 
duce the masonry ground floors of the private 
houses described above. About 1.30 m above exter- 
nal ground level, it is composed of a thick double 
curtain outer wall, with a slightly sloping outer 
face, containing a grid of large monolithic beams 
arranged at right angles to each other so as to act 
as a support for the four rows of the three pillars 
forming the five aisles of the cell and the posts of 
the doors leading to the five rear sacelli. 

As can be seen, both the structures of the spe- 
cific architectural layout and the general ground 
plan of the building are the same as in the private 
houses. The number of analogies increases if we 



take into consideration the main entrance, aligned 
with the central aisle (corridor), the staircase allow- 
ing access to it and the vertical rise of the inhabi- 
table portions over the upper surface of the base. 

The differences between the temple of Nakrah 
at Baraqish and, for instance, the Bayt Ya'tid of 
Tamna' (Fig. 1, house B/A) consist rather than in 
the presence/absence of precise architectonic ele- 
ments, in the existence in the former of embellish- 
ments and the emphasis of several specific attributes 
in the latter. We thus observe in the temple a par- 
ticular monumental aspect of the staircase and of 
the entrance in general, the elevation of the outer 
wall made of dressed stone instead of wood and 
brick, the monolithic internal pillars instead of 
mud brick partitions, the central rear sacellum re- 
placing the staircase leading up to the upper floor, 
etc. These variants merely represent a ritualization 
of the normal elements of a private house and do 
not alter the primary dwelling function of the 
house itself. It is just that in this case the occupant 
was not an ordinary mortal but the god Nakrah, 
and his house was the sublimation of a normal pri- 
vate house. 

The same construction model may be found in 
the great temple of Yeha in Ethiopia, which I exca- 
vated in 1998 as part of the research of the French 

5 J.-F. Breton, Les fortifications d'Arabie meridionale du T 
au 1" siick avant notre ere, ABADY 8 (1994) 142 ff. fig. 53; 
J.-F. Breton et al., Une vallee aride du Yemen antique. Le 
wadi Bayhan (1998) 170ft. figs.l. 2. 13. 

6 Ibidem 171 ff. figs. 4. 10. 14. 

7 In particular, houses 52, 72 and the building of site XIV out- 
side the walls (J.-F. Breton [ed.], Fouilles de Shabwa III. Ar- 
chitecture et techniques de construction, Bibliotheque 
archeologique et historique 154, 1998, 27 ff. 39 ff. 86 ff.), 
although it is easy to appreciate the frequency of the con- 
struction motif simply by observing the general city plan 
(ibidem 4 fig. 1). 

g J.-F. Breton, Rapport sur une mission archeologique dans le 
Wadi Hadramawt (Yemen du Sud), CRAIBL 1980, 75 ff. 
figs. 8-10; J.-F. Breton et al., Wadi Hadramawt. Prospec- 
tions 1978-1979 (1982) 79ff. 

9 A. de Maigret-Ch. Robin, Les fouilles italiennes de Yala 
(Yemen du Nord): nouvelles donnees sur la chronologie de 
l'Arabie prelslamique, CRAIBL 1989, 255-291 fig. 2. 

10 In this connection see the hypotheses put forward by Bre- 
ton (Shabwa III op. cit. 67 ff.) and my related observations 
in the review of the same book in AION 60, 2000. 

11 A. de Maigret-Ch. Robin, Le temple de Nakrah a Yathill 
(aujourd'hui Baraqish), Yemen. Resultats des deux premiers 
campagnes de fouilles de la Mission italienne, CRAIBL 
1993, 427-496 fig. 2. 



104 



Alessandro de Maigret 







Fig. 2 Ground plans of several South Arabian private houses. 

a. Yala (Khawlan at-Tiyal). - b. Suna (Hadramawt). - c. Tamna' (quarter near the South Gate). 

d. Hajar Khamuma (Wadi Markha). - e. Shabwa (Batiment 72) 



Mission directed by Ch. Robin' 2 . Even though 
here there is no grid of orthogonal internal struc- 
tures, as the twelve pillars are directly supported 
by the outcropping rock, the architectural univocal- 
ness is suggested by the ground plan of the hypo- 
style room, by the presence of a base underlined on 
the outside by sloping rows and even by the exist- 
ence (which brings it even closer to a private house) 
of a second floor. 

This apparent relationship with private houses 
seems to be related above all to the so-called 
hypostyle temples, widespread in Hadramawt (at 
Raybun [Fig. 3 b]", Husn al-Qays [Fig. 3 c]", 



Hurayda [Fig. 3d]' 5 , Makaynun [Fig. 3e]", but 
also at Suna, Mashgha, al-Hajra, Ba Quffa"), as 

" Ch. Robin -A. de Maigret, Le grand temple de Y4h» 
(Tigray), fithiopie. Apres la premiere campagne de fouilles 
de la Mission Francaise (1998), CRA1BL 1998, 737-798 
fig. 7. 

"A. Sedov, I templi di Raybun, in: Yemen. Nel paese della re- 
gina di Saba, exhibition cat. Rome (2000) 1 79 ff. fig. on p. 180. 

" Breton et al., WadT Hadramawt op. cit. Tig. on p. 69. 

" G. Caton Thompson, The Tombs and Moon Temple of 
Hureidha (Hadramaut), Reports of the Research Committee 
of the Society of Antiquaries of London 13(1944) 19ff.p|.73. 

" Breton et al., wadi hadramawt op. cit. fig. on p. 68. 

" Ibidem, figs, on pp. 64. 65. 66. 72. 



Some Reflections on the South Arabian Bast 



105 







Fig. 3 Ground plans of several Yemeni hypostyle temples. - a. Baraqish (temple of Nakrah). - b. Raybiin (temple of Sayin 
dhu-Mayfa'an). - c Husn al-Qays. - d. Hurayda (Moon Temple). - e. Makaynun 



well as in the Jawf (Ma'In 18 , Shaqab al-Manassa 19 , 
Darb as-Sabi 20 ). In the latter we actually find, as 
well as the sloping bases, also the same internal sub- 
division into an odd number of aisles, the same 
alignment according to a central axis of the entrance 
and the rear podium. Hovnever, it also seems possi- 
ble to attempt a comparison with the well-known 
large temple (or palace) buildings of Marib (Bar'an 
temple), Shabwa (>Palais royal<) and in Tamna' 
itself (building TT1). Indeed, if we exclude the 
U-shaped porticoed courtyards (probably later 
additions), these buildings display a module that 
(even if doubled in TT1) is essentially the same as 



that of the private houses, with a high rectangular 
base on which traces of small rooms divided into 
three aisles are still visible. 



11 J. Schmidt, Der Stadttempel von Main, ABADY 1 (1982) 
153 ff. fig. 42. 

19 Ch. Robin - J.-F. Breton - R. Audouin, Prospection ar- 
cheologique el epigraphique de la Mission Archeologique 
Francaise au Yemen du Nord (octobre-decembre 1978), 
Syria 56, 1979, fig. on p. 426. 

20 Ch. Robin-J.-F. Breton-J. Ryckmans, Le sanctuatre 
mineen de NKRH a Darb as-Sabi (environs de Baraqish), 
Raydan 4, 1981 249 ff. pi. 4. 



106 



Alessandro de Maigret 






d i e 

Fig. 4 Ground plans of tombs from the necropolis of Hayd ibn 'Aqll 



With reference to these latter three monuments, 
we recall - for at least two of them (TT1 in Tamna', 
>Palais royal< in Shabwa) - the lively debate con- 
cerning their function, that is, whether they were 
religious buildings (temples) or civil buildings 
(palaces). We realize that our hypothesis, namely, 
of a formal identity between private houses and 
temple, merely adds further uncertainty to the 
debate. However, if valid, I think it may be of use 
in shifting the problem further upstream, that is, it 
will mean asking whether it is actually legitimate to 
seek functional distinctions where in fact they im- 
plicitly did not exist. In the first instance, the bayt 
was a house, and the fact that the occupant was a 
king or a god was only of secondary importance. 
This observation seems to us to be perhaps more 
important than any other as it brings us closer to 
the very significance of South Arabian religious 



feeling. However, acknowledging that our need to 
make a historical reconstruction has every right to 
raise the issue of >palace or temples it must be 
admitted that the solution of this secondary func- 
tional level, precisely because of its original inde- 
terminate nature, actually remains a problem. As 
the solution to this problem does not depend, as 
we have seen, on purely architectonic considera- 
tions, it will have to be sought on the exclusive and 
more contingent basis of the archaeological-epi- 
graphic contexts. 

Lastly, it may be added that the South Arabian 
schema of the tripartite private house seems to be 
reflected, as well as in religious architecture, also in 
funeral architecture. The tombs of Hayd ibn 'Aqll, 
the Tamna' necropolis, for example, with their cen- 
tral corridor and two rows of niches on the sides 
actually seem to suggest the basic model of the 



Soue Reflections on the South Akabian Bayt 



107 



houses of the Uving (in this case limited to the stone 
base floor alone). The comparison remains hypo- 
thetical of course also because the examples shown 
in our Figure 4, as they were obtained from a 
schematic ground plan incidentally published by 
R. Cleveland 21 , are lacking in any further archaeo- 
logical detail. It cannot be ruled out, however, that 
the previously planned extension of our research to 
the Tamna' necropolis will perhaps in future pro- 
vide us with further data with which to test this 
hypothetical link between civil architecture and 
funeral architecture. 



From the above remarks it may thus be hypotheti- 
cally acknowledged that in Southern Arabia a 
model ground plan existed - that of the private 
house - which was extended to other fields of ar- 
chitecture such as religious and funeral architec- 
ture 22 . It is true of course that this module could 
not have an exclusive nature in Southern Arabia as 
we find different ground plans both in the houses 
(see, for example, the completely different plan 
views of the so-called farms of al-Jafna, near 
Yala) 23 , and in the temples (see, for example, the so- 
called courtyard temples of Waddum dhu-Mas- 
ma'im, al-Masajid and the extra moenia ones of 
as-Sawda' and Ma'in) 24 and in the tombs (see, for 
example, the tombs of the necropolis near the 
Awam of Marib) 25 . However, the fact that, pre- 
cisely in this variety of possible patterns, the 
canonical scheme of the tripartite house recurs so 
widely and frequently until relatively recent times, 
merely confirms its distinctive and deep-rooted 
nature. 

Moreover, if to its formal persistence we add the 
fact of its wide range of applications (which, as we 
have seen, extends beyond the functional limits 
of the various architectonic categories), we can 
understand how the tripartite schema reflects the 
profound traditional values of a building model 
that is probably extremely ancient (the house of 
Yala would seem, moreover to confirm this) and, 
in all probability, originally designed to have a 
single function. 

Starting from the assumption that the hypostyle 
temples and the Hayd ibn 'Aqil type tombs were 
based on the ground plan and structure of private 
houses, and not vice-versa, that is, that man built 
the houses of gods and the dead following the 



model of his own ordinary dwellings, the search 
for parallels for such private houses univocally 
leads us to Palestine alone. We actually find here a 
rigorous comparison with the so-called Israelite 
house (Fig. 5 a-d), a rectangular construction with 
three aisles and a back room (for this reason also 
known as the »four room house*), which has had 
a distinctive and widespread distribution in the re- 
gion since the Early Iron Age (ca. W^ century 
B. C.) 26 . The proportions between building length 
and width (Fig. 5 e. f) which, fixed at a ratio of 5 : 4, 
coincides with those of the South Arabian bayt, as 
well as the separations between aisles, often 
achieved by using monolithic pillars, not only 
strengthen the comparison, but appear also to con- 
firm the hypothesis of a similarity between South 
Arabian private houses and hypostyle temples. 

The debate concerning the origin of the »four 
room house« is controversial, with some claiming 
that it originated from the nomadic tents of the 
Israelites 27 while others see a connection with spe- 
cific, albeit sporadic, ground plan motifs of the 
Late and Middle Bronze Age civil architecture in 
Canaan 28 . The fact however that its generalized use 
suddenly appears in Palestine with the arrival of 
the Israelites and that it is observed to be their 
typical dwelling type throughout the period of the 



21 R. L. Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis. 
Objects from the Second Campaign (1951) in the Timna' 
Cemetery, PAFSM IV (1965) plan 2. 

22 The bayt model seems to involve also urban defensive 
architecture, which arises out of the juxtaposition of 
peripheral private houses. 

13 A. de Maigret, Archaeological Survey on the Wad! Yala 
Antiquities, in: idem (ed.), The Sabaean Archaeological 
Complex in the Wad! Yala (Eastern Khawlan ac Tiyal, 
Yemen Arab Republic), IsMEO Reports and Memoirs 21 
(1988) 5ff. fig. 9-13. 

24 Cf. M. Jung, The Religious Monuments of Ancient South- 
ern Arabia. A Preliminary Typological Classification, 
AION 48, 1988, 186ff. 

25 I. Gerlach, Die Grabungen des Deutschen Archaologischen 
Institucs Sana'a im sabaischen Friedhof des Awim-Tempels 
in Marib, in: Im Land der Konigin von Saba. Kunstschatze 
aus dem antiken Jemen, exhibition cat. Munich (2000) 
113ff. figs.2-6. 

21 G. R. H. Wright, Ancient Building in South Syria and Pales- 
tine (1985) 293 ff. 

27 V. Fritz, Die Kulturhistorische Bedeutung der Friiheisen- 
zcitlichen Siedlung auf der Hirbet el Mesas, ZDPV 96, 1980, 
122. 

21 Wright op. cit. 295 f. 



108 



Alessandro de Maigret 




Fig. 5 Ground plans of Palestine private houses, 
a and b. Tell Masos. - c and d. Tell cl-Far'ah. - e and f. Tell en-Nasbeh 



monarchy, seems to underline, in our opinion, that 
this house model was an intrinsic part of the archi- 
tectonic tradition of this population. In this sense, 
taking into consideration the nomadic origin of the 
Israelites, the hypothesis of the tent as an inspira- 
tional motif, although still not verifiable, seems at 
least to be plausible. 

If we consider that, in all likelihood, also the 
Southern Arabians had nomadic origins and that 
their civilisation is the result of a sedentarization 
that took place among the Yemeni mountains in 



the closing centuries of the second millennium 
B.C., we see that the parallels observed between 
the South Arabian bayt and the Israelite house are 
apparently accompanied by another, more general 
and more profound one, regarding the historical- 
cultural path followed by the two populations. We 
could consequently claim that, since both the 
Israelites and the South Arabians built houses of 
the same type when, at the same time (Early Iron 
Age) they settled respectively in the north-western 
and south-western regions of the Arabian Penin- 



Some Reflections on the South Ababian Bayt 



109 



sula, the origins of this dwelling model must be 
rooted in a common tradition shared by the two 
populations. This brings us back to a stage prior to 
their separation, that is, to the nomadic phase of 
their existence. 

The South Arabian bayt and its apparent plani- 
metric similarities with such distant dwelling 
models as those of the Israelite houses, highlights 
the role played by the Arabian desert in defining 
the cultural identity of the peoples who flourished 
along its borders. Sedentarization physically sepa- 
rated, but did not change, what nomadism had 
created and kept together. To be able to come back 



and understand more fully this original conceptual 
unity would yield deeper insights into the ensuing 
cultural outcomes. As the specific case in point 
shows, it is possible to trace back as far as a com- 
mon proto-architecture< that obviously inspired 
the Semitic peoples that settled in the Near East 
with the opening of the Iron Age. 



Address: 

Prof. Dott. Alessandro de Maigret, Via 2a Traversa 

Coste di Agnano 11, 1-80078 Pozzuoli, 

ademaigret@iuo.it 



110 Alessandro de Maigret 

(A. de Maigret) 

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.Oli-JW 31*1 fjJiS ^Vl 



Norbert Nebes 

ZUR CHRONOLOGIE DER INSCHRIFTEN AUS DEM 
BAR'AN-TEMPEL 



Im September 2000 wurde bei den vom Deutschen 
Archaologischen Institut (DAI) durchgefiihrten 
Restaurierungsarbeiten aufierhalb der Nordmauer 
des Bar'an-Tempel in einem Schutthaufen eine 
Reihe zum Teil auch umfangreicherer Inschriften- 
fragmente gefunden 1 . Dabei handelt es sich einmal 
urn Namensaufschriften auf Tongefafifragmenten 
aus friiherer Zeit, sodann um bereits bekannte 
Architekturwidmungen auf Steinbockreliefs und 
schliefilich um eine ganze Reihe von Dedikationen 
aus der mittelsabaischen Periode. Von nicht gerin- 
ger historischer Bedeutung ist dabei ein Stein- 
block, der die ersten zehn Zeilen einer Inschrift 
des Hamdaniden Sa'irum 'Awtar enthalt. Dieser 
Konig, den wir um 210 bis 230 n. Chr. ansetzen, hat 
dem 'Almaqah, dem Herrn von Maskat und der in 
Bar'an wohnt 2 , - den Einlassungen der Fufispuren 
nach zu schliefien - sein 40 bis 50 cm hohes bron- 
zenes Standbild gewidmet 3 . Der Inhalt ist insofern 
von besonderem historischen Interesse, als der 
Text u. a. von bekannten militarischen Aktionen 
des Sa'irum 'Awtar in Nordarabien und insbeson- 
dere gegen das 280 km nordostlich von Nagran 
gelegene Qaiyat al-Fa'w berichtet 4 und uns mit 
einigen weiteren historischen Detailinformationen 
versorgt. So ist in Zeile 9 zu lesen, dafi er den 
Rabfat bin Mu'awiyat 5 nach San'a' deportiert und 
dort vermutlich in seinem Stammschlofi Gumdan 
unterbringt 6 . 



Aufier den Abkiirzungen gemaB ABADY 9 (2002) 248 ff. war- 
den folgende verwandt: 

Nebes (1992) N. Nebes, New Inscriptions from the Bar'an 
Temple (al-'Ama'id) in the Oasis of Marib, in: 
A. Harrak (Hrsg.), Contacts between Cultures. 
West Asia and North Africa I, Selected Papers 
from the 33 rd International Congress of Asian 



and North African Studies, Toronto 1990 (1992) 

160-164 
Nebes (2000) N. Nebes, Die In-situ-Inschriften des Bar'an- 

Tempels, in: Vogt-Herberg-Roring 16-18 
Vogt-Herberg-Roring B. Vogt-W. Herberg-N Roring, 

»Arsh Bilqis* - Der Tempel des Almaqah von 

Bar'an in Marib (2000) 
Seipel O. Seipel (Hrsg.), Kunst und Archaologie im 

Land der Konigin von Saba', Ausstellungskat 

Wien (1998) 

Siglen der publizierten Inschriften, soweit dort verzeichnet, nach 
DS XX-XXV. Die Abkurzung Kat. mit folgender Nummem- 
angabe verweist auf die betreffende Inschrift im nachstehenden 
Katalog. - F. Stein, Jena, danke icb fur die Durchsicht des Manu- 
skripts und manche kritische Bemerkung. 

1 Die Freilegung des Heiligtums erfolgte zwischen den Jahren 
1988 und 1997 durch das DAI. Die anschliefienden Restau- 
rierungsarbeiten wurden 2000 abgeschlossen. Als vorlaufige 
Orientierung sei auf J. Schmidt, Tempel und Heiligrumer in 
Sudarabien, NBA 14, 1997-99, 20-26; B. Vogt, Der 
Almaqah-Tempel von Baran, in: Seipel; Vogt - Herberg - 
Roring sowie J. Gorsdorf - B. Vogt, Radiocarbon Darings 
from the Almaqah Temple of Bar'an, Ma'rib, Republic of 
Yemen: Approximately 800 Cal BC to 600 Cal AD, Radio- 
carbon 43, 2001, 1363-69 hingewiesen. 

2 So die herkojnmliche Ubersetzung von 'Imqh b'l mskt wytw 
br'n der in Z. 3 der Inschrift genannten Titulatur des 'Al- 
maqah. Die verschiedenen Beinamen werden unten erortert. 

1 Dies ist die vierte bekannte Inschrift des Sa'irum 'Awtar als 
Alleinregent, vgl. N Nebes, Sa'irum 'Awtar und das wider- 
spenstige Kamel. Eine neue Widmungsinschrift fur du 
Samawl aus der Oase von Marib, in: N. Nebes (Hrsg.), 
Neue Beitrage zur Semitistik, JBVO 5 (2002) 133. 

' Vgl. die .Untertanen-Inschrift J 635/16-28. 

5 Der Name des Kindakonigs ist an dieser Stelle zum ersten 
Mai vollstandig bezeugt; ohne Filiation dagegen in J 635/ 
26 f.: rb't I d'l tuirm / mlk / kdt I wqhtn. 

> DAIBar'an2000-l/9ff. = Kat.33:ii»b'ttu/ri'l/An/m'toy(/ 
d'l I twr (10) [m I ml]k I kdt I wqhtn I 'dy I bgm I m (1 1) 
['w\ »und (als) er den Rabrat bin Mu'awiyat aus der Famihe 
Tawru[m, den Koni]g der Kinda und Qahtan, in die Stadt 
San["aw] brachte*. 



112 



NORBERT NEBES 



Von den Inschriften, die wir mittlerweile aus 
dem Bar'an-Tempel besitzen, ist dieser Text - auf 
die politische Ereignisgeschichte Siidarabiens be- 
zogen - sicherlich der bedeutendste. Zugleich zeigt 
er, dafi nicht nur im grofiten Heiligtum in der Oase 
von Marib, im 'Awam, sondern auch in dem davon 
unweit gelegenen Bar'an-Tempel Konige der mit- 
telsabaischen Zeit Dedikationen hinterlassen haben, 
die in unmittelbarem Zusammenhang mit deren 
militarischen Unternehmungen stehen. Dies ist ein 
Ergebnis, das wir aufgrund des epigraphischen Be- 
fundes der vorausgehenden Kampagnen nicht for- 
mulieren konnten. Wir miissen daher davon aus- 
gehen, dafi unsere Kenntnis der im Heiligtum auf- 
gestellten und angebrachten Inschriften nach wie 
vor aufierst liickenhaft ist, und dies gilt es vorab 
zu bedenken, wenn aufgrund der epigraphischen 
Funde im folgenden Riickschliisse auf die Bedeu- 
tung des Heiligtums und seine zeitliche Belegung 
angestellt werden. 

Aus dem Bar'an-Tempel besitzen wir mittler- 
weile 62 Inschriften, die bei den Ausgrabungen und 
den anschliefienden Restaurierungsarbeiten des 
DAI freigelegt worden sind, wobei wir die kleine- 
ren, aussagekraftigen Fragmente mit hinzurechnen. 
Zwei unveroffentlichte Widmungen (Kat. 39 und 
45) aus der Muhafazat Marib, die nicht im Zuge 
der Ausgrabungen des DAI gefunden worden sind, 
konnen aufgrund des Beinamens der Gottheit zwei- 
felsfrei dem Bar'an-Tempel zugeordnet werden. 
Dazu kommen neun Inschriften, die schon seit lan- 
gem oder langerem bekannt und auch publiziert 
sind 7 . Zu ihnen gehort etwa das zweizeilige, am 
nordlichen Saulenstumpf des Propylon angebrachte 
Verbot C 400, Silber oder - so die andere Interpre- 
tation - Aromata aus dem Heiligtum zu entfemen 8 . 

Wenn wir eine erste Bestandsaufnahme der ins- 
gesamt 73 Inschriften vornehmen, so gelangen wir 
zu folgendem Befund: 

Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, handelt es sich 
bei der uberwiegenden Mehrzahl der Texte um 
Widmungsinschriften. Andere Inschriftengattun- 
gen sind sparlich vertreten. So sind bislang vier 
Inschriften juristischen Inhalts bekannt. Neben 
dem bereits genannten Verbot C 400 am Sau- 
lenstumpf des Propylon ist ein vierzeiliger Erlafi 
der Verwalter des Bar'an-Tempels (Kat. 54) zu 
nennen, der an der aufieren Mauer des Vorhofs an 
der Nordwestecke des Tempels angcbracht ist. In 
diesem Erlafi wird vom Vorsteher sowic den Ver- 



waltern des Tempel»festgelegt, dafi an der Mauer 
grasende Ziegen geschlachtet werden sollen. Auf 
einem Saulenfragment, ebenfalls von den Verwal- 
tern des Bar'an-Tempels verfafit, ist eine Bekannt- 
machung (Kat. 55) festgehalten, die durch eine 
Reihe bislang unbekannter Bau-Termini einige 
Verstandnisprobleme aufwirft. Wenn wir eine vor- 
laufige Interpretation versuchen, so geht aus die- 
sem Text hervor, dafi die Verwalter des Bar'an 
einen namenthch genannten Funkrionstrager dar- 
auf verpflichten, fur Beschaffung(?) und Betreu- 
ung bestimmter Architekturteile Sorge zu tragen'. 

Die einzige Bauinschrift (Kat. 58) sei der Voll- 
standigkeit halber erwahnt. Sie stammt aus spaterer 
Zeit, ist ausgemeifielt und steht in keinem inhalt- 
lichen Zusammenhang mit der Baugeschichte des 
Heiligtums 10 . 

Von den Widmungsinschriften, die erwartungs- 
gemafi den Grofiteil des epigraphischen Corpus 
ausmachen, sind einige wenige auch anderen Gott- 
heiten geweiht. So sind zwei Widmungen aus der 
friiheren Zeit, eine Personenwidmung (Kat. 48)" 
und eine Aufschrift auf einem Raucheraltar (Kat. 
49) fur die Gottin Hawbas, eine Inschrift aus 
der mittelsabaischen Periode fiir Nasrum (Kat. 53) 



7 C314+954 = Kat.34;C4O0=KaL56;C4Ol=Kat31;C4O4 
= Kat. 44; E 69 = Kat 35; F 52 = Kat 15; F 53+54 = J 532 
= Kat 26; J 535 = Kat. 46; J 877 = Kat 37. 

1 In dieser Inschrift die bereits von Th. Arnaud bei seinem Be- 
such in Marib im Juli 1843 aufgenommen wunle und sich 
heute noch in situ befindet, ist sowohl 'Almaqah, der Heir 
von Bar'an {'Imqh b'l br'n), als auch das Heiligtum Bar'an 
{mhnrm br'n) genannt, welchen Ziuten es zu verdanken ist, 
dafi schon im 19. Jh. kein Zweifel an dem Namen des Heilig- 
tums noch daran bestand, welcher Gottheit es zuzuschreiben 
sei. - Zu den verschiedenen Auffassungen von si/als »SUber« 
und -Aromata- vgl. zulctzt A. Sima, Tiere, Pflanzen, Steine 
und Metalle in den altsiidarabischen Inschriften, Veroffent- 
lichungen der Orientalischen Kommission der Akademie 
der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz 46 (2000) 335 f., 
der sich gcgen W. W. Miiller, Namen von Aromata im anti- 
ken Siidarabien, in: A. Avanzini (Hrsg.), Profumi d'Arabia, 
KongreS Mailand = Saggi di storia antica 11 (1997) 210, fiir 
den erstgenannten Vorschlag ausspricht MogLicherweise hat 
frf an dieser Stelie aber eine ganz andere Bedeutung. 

* Das viertc juristische Dokument Kat 57, ist eine fragmema- 
rische, zweizeilige, mittelsabaische Rechtsurkunde, die an 
der Nordseite der Brunnenplatte unterhalb der grofien 
•Brunneninschrift' angebracht ist. 
" Ausluhrlicher dazu Nebes (1992) 163 f. 
11 Diese wetst einen sehr friihen Schriftduktus auf. 



Zur Chronologie der Inschsiften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 



113 



bestimmt. Auf zwei Raucheraltirchen ist die Gottin 
Sams ^ angesprochen, und in einer siebenzeiligen 
Inschrift auf einem rotlich eingefarbten Kalkstein- 
block (Kat. 52) dedizieren zwei Frauen ihre 
Statuetten der Gottheit 'Azizlat, die ihrem Bei- 
namen zufolge in einem bislang unbekannten Hei- 
ligtum 'Adadan verehrt wird 13 und nur noch in 
C 557, einer mittelsabaischen Widmung unbekann- 
ter Herkunft, begegnet. Schliefilich wird in einer 
Aufschrifc auf einem Raucheraltar dieser der Gott- 
heit 'Attar zugeeignet 14 . 

In der Mehrzahl der Falle - und hier konnen wir 
auch die Fragmente mitzahlen - ist 'Almaqah der 
Adressat der Dedikationen. Drei grofie Gruppen 
von Widmungen sind hier zu unterscheiden: 

Zur ersten Gruppe gehoren die Widmungen, die 
mit der Baugeschichte des Heiligtums in Zusam- 
menhang stehen und an Architekturteilen oder 
Baulichkeiten des Heiligtums angebracht sind. Zu 
einem Grofiteil handelt es sich dabei um solche 
Widmungen, in denen das Widmungsobjekt nicht 
explizite aufgefiihrt wird 15 . Besonders hervorzu- 
heben ist darunter eine Dedikation, die - nach den 
zahlreichen Fragmenten zu urteilen - in vielfachen 
Ausfertigungen mit ein und demselben Wortlaut 
auf den Alabasterreliefs an der Galerie der Hof- 
mauer, aber auch auf Steinblocken immer wieder- 
kehrt und folgendermafien lautet: »Yita'karib bin 
Sumuhukarib aus der Sippe 'Inanan, der Verwalter 
des Yada"il und Yita"amar und Karib'il, hat dem 
'Almaqah gewidmet* 16 . Auch wenn in diesen Fallen 
die Zuordnung zu den Architekturteilen nicht ganz 
unproblematisch ist, so konnen wir doch da- 
von ausgehen, dafi die Widmungen sich auf die 
Gegenstande beziehen, auf denen sie, obwohl sie 
nicht ausdriicklich im Text genannt werden, auch 
angebracht sind. Eindeutig, jedoch bei den Baulich- 
keiten des Heiligtums selten, ist die Nennung des 
Objekts wie in der zweizeiligen, iiber drei Meter 
langen Bustrophedon-Inschrift auf der Nordseite 
der Brunnenplatte (Kat. 27), in der der Brunnen 
Nabatum (b'm nbtm) samt den einzelnen zu ihm 
gehorigen Bauteilen den Widmungsgegenstand bil- 
det. 

Die zweite Gruppe, die zum uberwiegenden 
Teil an Altaren angebracht ist, wird von Dedika- 
tionen mit namentlich ausgewiesenem Widmungs- 
objekt gebildet. Hierbei geht es in den wenigsten 
Fallen - woran man zunachst denken konnte -, um 
die Widmung der die Inschrift tragenden Ob- 



jekte 17 , vielmehr werden mannliche und weibliche 
Personen dem 'Almaqah geweiht 18 sowie nament- 
lich bezeichnete Landstiicke und Palmgarten der 
Gottheit und damit auch dem Tempel ubergeben". 



" bry hns in Kat. 50 und 51. 

11 So in Z. 3f.: %bn / 'zz It / hi I 'din. 

H Kat. 47: l-'ttr »fur 'Attar«. 

13 Die meisten dieser Inschriften befinden sich in situ und sind 
in der GrundrifSskizze bei Vogt-Herberg-Roring Abb. 5 
eingezeichnet und bei Nebes (2000) 16-18 unter den ange- 
gebenen Nummern iibersetzt. Im einzelnen handelt es sich 
um ebenda Nr. 1 = Kat. 9; Nr. 3 = Kat. 7 = Kat. 6; Nr. 4 = 
Kat. 4; Nr. 5 = Kat. 5; Nr. 6 = Kat. 3; Nr. 7 = Kat. 8. 

16 So nach den beiden vollstandig erhaltenen Inschriften Kat. 4 
und Kat. 3 auf den Alabasterreliefs in der nordlicben und 
siidlichen Hofgalerie, im Wortlaut: yt'krb Ibnl smhkrb /bn/ 
'nnn / qyn / yd"l I wyt"mr / wkrb'l / hqny / 'Imqb; ohne 
Titulatur Kat. 5 auf einer Steinbank am Haupteingang zum 
Vorhof. 

17 Die - wohl eindeutige - Ausnahme stellt Kat. 29 dar, in wel- 
cher Widmung von einem Verwalter des Tempels (qyn 
br'm) der die Inschrift tragende Altar mit Namen 'rit samt 
Nachkommenschaft (w-kl wldbw) der Gottheit ausgerich- 
tet wird. Von daher ist es nicht auszuschliefien, ia& in Kat. 
11-13 nicht eine Personenwidmung vorliegt, sondern/r't 
den Namen eines Altars bezeichnet, zumal in einer unver- 
offentlichten Inschrift aus Sirwah fr'tm, wenngleich mit 
Mimation, als Aufschrift an einer Altarplatte bezeugt ist, 
womit schwerlich etwas anderes als deren Name gemeint 
sein wird. Auf der anderen Seite hat die Aufnahme der be- 
treffenden Katalognummern unter die Personenwidmun- 
gen insofern ihre Berechtigung, al&fr't im Altsiidarabischen 
eindeutig als Frauenname nachgewiesen ist (vgl. den qata- 
banischen Befund bei H. Hayajneh, Die Personennamen in 
den qatabanischen Inschriften [1998] s. r.) und dariiber hin- 
aus die Widmung weiblicher Personen in der altsabaischen 
Zeit auch aufierhalb des Bar'an-Tempels begegnet (vgl. z. B. 
C 492, C 495). - An den vier Seiten eines Tischaltars ist die 
Widmung Kat. 10 angebracht, die, auch wenn kein Objekt 
genannt wird, diesen vermutlich zum Gegenstand hat 

18 So z. B. die mannlichen Personen Damaryada' (dmryd 1 ) und 
Yita'radam iyt'rdm) in Kat. 15. 16, sowie die weibliche 
Person Gufrat (g/rt) in Kat. 18. Der Hawbas wird auf 
einem treppenartigen Kalksteinsockel die mannliche Person 
Habarr'il (hbr'i) dediziert (Kat. 48); der Hintergrund der 
altsabaischen Personenwidmung ist noch nicht recht durch- 
sichtig. Ganz abgesehen von dem Umstand, dafi damit die 
Zugehorigkeit zur Kultgemeinschaft einer Gottheit offent- 
lich dokumentiert wird, welche Implikacionen dies fiir die 
dedizierte Person auch immer haben mag, kann die Wid- 
mung ihre ganz pragmatische Ursache darin haben, dafi die 
gewidmeten Personen zu Diensdeistungen fur den Tempel 
herangezogen werden; vgl. vorlaufig W. Arnold - N. Nebes, 
Eine altsabaische Widmungsinschrift auf einer Bronzetafel, 
ZeicschriftfurarabischeLinguiscik35, 1998, lOmit Anm. 10. 

" Vgl. Kat. 22-26. 



114 



NORBERT NEBES 



Die dritte Gruppe von Votivtexten schliefilich, 
die - mit einer Ausnahme 20 - alle in nachchrist- 
licher Zeit abgefafit wurden, ist durch die allseits 
bekannten Widmungen von Statuetten (dm-) ver- 
treten 21 . Diese Statuetten bilden in der Regel die 
Stifter ab, in einem Fall wird die Statuette eines 
Kamels 22 , in einem anderen jene einer Lowin aus 
Bronze 23 dediziert. 

Wenn wir uns nach dieser kurzen Bestandsauf- 
nahme der chronologischen Verteilung der In- 
schriften zuwenden, so konnen wir uns zunachst 
recht schnell und problemlos einen Eindruck dar- 
iiber verschaffen, welche Inschriften vor bzw. nach 
der Zeitenwende entstanden sind. Wie die Durch- 
sicht ergibt, kommen 42 Inschriften 24 und damit 
weit iiber die Halfte des epigraphischen Fundmate- 
rials aus altsabaischer Zeit. 27 Beispiele 28 sind ein- 
deutig mittelsabaisch und in nachchristlicher Zeit 
abgefafit. Vier Inschriften sind, ihrem palaographi- 
schen Duktus nach zu urteilen, in nachaltsabai- 
scher Zeit vor der Zeitenwende anzusetzen 24 . Uber 
diese grobe Orientierung hinaus ist gerade fiir die 
altsabaische Zeit eine differenzierte Aufgliederung 
bekanntlich iiberaus schwierig und problematisch. 
Mit Ausnahme des absoluten Datums um 685 
v. Chr., das wir uber die assyrische Annalistik fur 
Karib'il Watar gewinnen, fehlen absolute chrono- 
logische Anhaltspunkte fiir die altsabaische Zeit 
der Bustrophedon-Inschriften, so dafi wir mehr 
oder weniger auf palaographische Beobachtungen 
in Verbindung mit archaologischen Datierungsver- 
suchen angewiesen sind. Dariiber hinaus sind bis- 
lang keine Herrscherinschriften aus der vorchrist- 
lichen Zeit, weder in den Versturzschichten noch 
an exponierten Architekturteilen, gefunden wor- 
den 27 . Mukarribe sind durchaus genannt, aber 
nicht als Erbauer oder Widmende, sondern in den 
Titulaturen ihrer Beamten und Untertanen 28 . In 
diesen Positionen fehlen aber die Beinamen, so dafi 
iiber eine Identifizierung der in unserem Textcor- 
pus des ofteren genannten Mukarribe Yada"il, 
Karib'il und Yita"amar nur gemutmafit werden 
kann. 

Wenn iiberhaupt, dann kommt als prosopogra- 
phischer Anhaltspunkt nur der bereits genannte 
Yita'karib bin Sumuhukarib aus der Sippe 'Inanan 
in Betracht, der die Galerie des Innenhofs mit 
Steinbockreliefs hat auskleiden lassen. Dieser 
Yita'karib fiihrt den Titel eines Verwalters, also 
eines Qayn, des Yada"il und Yita"amar und 



Karib'il. Diese Mukaf ribe in der aufgefuhrten Rei- 
henfolge finden wir in einer ganzen Reihe von so- 
genannten Untertaneninschriften aus der ausge- 
henden altsabaischen Periode. H. von Wissmann 
hat die betreffenden Inschriften zusammengestellt 
und fur seine chronologischen und palaographi- 
schen Untersuchungen ausgewertet. Er kommt zu 
dem Ergebnis, dafi diese Herrscher, die als letzte 
Mukarribe in der gegebenen Reihenfolge den »Gro- 
fien Stammbaum« beschliefien, im 5. Jh. v. Chr. an- 
zusetzen sind 2 '. Auch wenn gegenuber rein imma- 
nenten chronologischen Auswertungen ein gesun- 
des Mafi an Skepsis angebracht erscheint, so 
stimmt dieser zeitliche Ansatz durchaus mit der 
Palaographie der von Yita'karib gesetzten Dedika- 
tionen iiberein 30 . Auch die anderen, in situ befind- 
lichen Inschriften, die sich auf die Baugeschichte 
beziehen", konnen mit Ausnahme der monu- 
mentalen zweizeiligen Bustrophedon-Inschrift am 
Brunnen (Kat. 27) von den Schriftformen her die- 
sem Zeitraum zugeordnet werden 52 . Dieser chro- 

20 Kat. 30, die Widmung einer Statuette (fnfin), ist palaogra- 
phisch eindeutig fruher, vermutlich um 200 v. Chr., anzuset- 
zen. 

11 Vgl. Kat. Abschnitt 1.6. 

22 Kat. 46 ('Mm). 

B Kat. 45 (Ib'n it dhbn). 

" Kat. 1-29. 48. 49. 54. 59-68. 

M Kat. 31-46. 50-53. 57. 58. 69-73. 

* Es handclt sich hierbei um das zweizeilige Verbot {Kat 56X 
die in vergleichbarem Schhftduktus gehaJtene BckaDnt- 
machung der Verwalter des Bar'an (KaL 55), die ebenfalls 
schon genannte Widmung einer Statuette (KaL 30) und 
moglicherweise die an 'Attar gerichtete Altarauischrilt 
(Kat. 47). 

17 Diese waren beispielsweise an den hoheren, nicht mehr vor- 
handenen Lagen der Aufien- und lnnenseiten der Hof- 
mauer zu crwarten gewesen. 

" Neben dem bereits erwahnten Yita'karib, der der Verwalter 
der drei Mukarribe Yada"il, Yita"amar und Karib'il gewe- 
sen ist, sind etwa noch ein -Vertrauter des Sumuhu'ah und 
Yita"amar- (Kat. 21: mwdd smh'ly w-yl'mr), ein >Diener 
des Yada"il und Yita"amar. (Kat. 8: 'U yi"i w-yt"mr), ein 
•Dicner des Karib'il- (Kat. 67: ["]W M't) sowie ein »Die- 
ner des Yada"il« (Kat. 2: 'U yd"I) zu nennen. 

" H. von Wissmann, in: W. W. Muller (Hrsg.), Die Geschichte 
von Saba' II. Das Grolireich der Sabier bis zu seinem Ende 
im friihen 4. Jh. v. Chr., SBWien 402 (1982) 275 ff. 

10 Die palaographischen Kriterien sind die bekannten: neben 
Hohen- und Breitenindex z. B. Schafthohe von S, ' und K, 
Glcichschenkeligkeit des M, Kreis- bzw. Ovalformigkeit 
von ' und W. 

11 Siehe die in Anm. 15 genannten Texte.- 
" Im Katalog als aSabC ausgewieaen. 



Zur Chronologie dek Inschriften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 



115 



nologische Befund steht dabei durchaus in Ein- 
klang mit den archaologischen Ergebnissen. Nach 
Mitteilung von B. Vogt, Bonn, sind Tempelvorhof, 
Hofpflasterung, Fufiboden, Propylon und Monu- 
mentaltreppe des Heiligtums als eine zeitlich in 
sich geschlossene Bauphase zu werten und im spa- 
ten 6. oder 5. Jh. v. Chr. entstanden 33 . 

Wenn wir das epigraphische Material aus der 
altsabaischen Zeit einer eingehenderen palaogra- 
phischen Durchsicht unterziehen, dann zeigt sich, 
dafi bei weitem nicht alle Inschriften in die >klassi- 
sche< Phase des 5. Jh. v. Chr. zu datieren sind. So 
zeichnet sich eine kleinere Gruppe von Inschriften 
und Fragmenten ab, deren Palaographie in zwei 
friihere Phasen der altsabaischen Periode verweist. 
Unter Zugrundelegung der Zeichenformen in den 
beiden grofien Inschriften des Karib'il Watar aus 
Sirwah R 3945 = Gl 1000 A und R 3946 = Gl 1000 B, 
aus denen wir das absolute Datum um 685 n. Chr. 
erhalten, sind zum einen jene Inschriften zu nen- 
nen, die in einem ganz ahnlichen Duktus wie die 
beiden grofien Inschriften aus Sirwah gehalten 
sind 34 . Darunter fallen eindeutig die monumentale, 
am Brunnen angebrachte Bustrophedon-Inschrift 
(Kat. 27) wie auch die in mehrfacher Ausfertigung 
auf vier Altarseiten umlaufende Widmung des 
Bi'attar 35 . In eine noch friihere Zeit und mit einiger 
Sicherheit vor R 3945 und R 3946 sind zwei In- 
schriften anzusetzen 36 , bei denen es sich zum einen 
um die Aufschrift auf einer Messerklinge (Kat. I) 37 , 
zum anderen um eine dreizeilige Personenwid- 
mung fur die Gottin Hawbas (Kat. 48) handelt 38 . 

Weitaus praziser konnen wir dagegen die spate- 
ren Inschriften aus der nachchristlichen Zeit ein- 
grenzen. So sind in den Texten aus der mittelsabai- 
schen Periode vier Konige genannt, die uns auf- 
grund der grofien Inschriften vom Gabal Mi'sal 
eine absolute zeitliche Vorgabe liefern 3 '. Im einzel- 
nen sind dies 'Alhan Nahfan und Sohn Sa'irum 
'Awtar, Ilsarah Yahdib mit Bruder Ya'zil Bayyin und 
schliefilich als letzter sabaischer Konig Nasa'karib 
Yu'min Yuharhib. 

Anhand der vorangehenden Beobachtungen 
konnen wir die folgenden Punkte zusammenfas- 
send festhalten: 

1. Auch wenn die epigraphische Dokumentation 
aus dem Heiligtum nachweishch friiher als im 5. Jh. 
v. Chr. einsetzt, so fallt der Grofiteil der altsabai- 
schen Schriftdokumente in diesen Zeitraum. In 
diese Zeit wird von den Archaologen die Anlage 



von Tempel 4 datiert, wie er in seinem gepflasterten 
Vorhof, den Galerien, dem Propylon und der 
Monumentaltreppe zu grofien Teilen heute noch 
zu sehen ist. Diese Bauphase wird von den Wid- 
mungen auf den Alabasterreliefs, an Steinbanken 
und einzelnen Mauerabschnitten an der nord- 
lichen, siidlichen und in einem Fall westlichen 
Hofmauer begleitet und dokumentiert. 

Den archaologischen Ergebnissen zufolge hat 
der Tempel jedoch drei Vorgangerbauten besessen. 
Gerade der unmittelbare Vorgangerbau aus dem 
7. und 8. Jh. v. Chr., Tempel 3, dessen wesentliche 
Baukomplexe in einer massiven Podiumsmauer aus 
gewaltigen Kalksteinquadern und einer zentralen 
Cella mit umlaufendem Kalksteinpflaster bestan- 
den haben 40 , wird zwar baugeschichtlich durch 
die Epigraphik nicht begleitet, nichtsdestoweniger 
Iafit sich fur diesen Zeitraum eine - wenn auch ge- 
ringe - Anzahl von Dedikationen nachweisen. 

2. Das >Dokumentationsloch<, welches sich nach 
dem 4. Jh. v. Chr. bis zur Zeitenwende auftut und 
dem wir gerade einmal drei Inschriften sicher zu- 
ordnen konnen 41 , liegt nicht in irgendeinem spezi- 
fischen Umstand des Bar'an-Tempels begriindet, 
sondern hangt ganz einfach damit zusammen, dafi 
aus Marib die epigraphischen Quellen in den fol- 
genden Jahrhunderten generell nur sehr sparlich 
fliefien. 

3. Aus der mittelsabaischen, nachchristlichen Zeit 
besitzen wir 27 Inschriften. In zehn Inschriften sind 
Konige genannt, und zwar handelt es sich um die 
Hamdaniden 'Alhan Nahfan und Sohn Sa'irum 
'Awtar (Kat. 31-33), um die Guratiden Ilsarah 
Yahdib und Ya'zil Bayyin (Kat. 34-36. 69) und den 
aus der gleichen Sippe stammenden Nasa'karib 



33 Tempel 4 nach Vogt -Herberg- Raring 2f. 

34 Im Katalog als aSabB ausgewiesen. 

35 Kat. 11-13. - Eine Reihe von Inschriftenfragmenten auf 
Alabasterreliefs (Kat. 22 und 59-64) weist einen spateren, 
nach B zu dacierenden Schriftdukrus auf, ohne jedoch ein- 
deutig der Srufe C zugeordnet werden zu konnen. 

36 Im Katalog als aSabA ausgewiesen. 

37 Fur eine sehr friihe Datierung spricht das gegabelce H. 

38 Neben altertumlichem H mit gerundeten Schenkeln, die 
aber in spitzem Winkel aufeinander treffen, ist der fur die 
friihe Zeit typische Hohenbreitenindex von 2 : 1 zu nennen. 

39 Vgl. C. Robin, Les inscriptions d'al-Mi'sal et la chronologie 
de 1' Arabic meridionale au Iir siecle de l'ere cfiretienne, 
CRAIBL (1981) 315-339. 

40 Vogt-Herberg-Roring 2. 
« s. Anm. 26. 



116 



NORBERT NEBES 



Yu'min Yuharhib (Kat. 37. 38. 70) 42 . In drei In- 
schriften richten zwei Konige die Widmung selbst 
aus. Es ist dies einmal Sa'irum 'Awtar in dem 
eingangs geschilderten Neufund (Kat. 33), in dem 
er sich u. a. fiir den erfolgreichen Feldzug nach 
Qaryat al-Fa'w bedankt, zura anderen ist es 
Nasa'karib Yu'min Yuharhib, der in zwei Fallen 
(Kat. 37. 70) seine Widmungen im Bar'an-Tempel 
hinterlafit. 

Hinzu kommt noch J 564, eine Inschrift aus 
dem 'Awam-Tempel, in der ein Fiihrer des ostlich 
von San'a' ansassigen Stammes Gayman dem 'Al- 
maqah eine Statuette anlafilich der erfolgreichen 
Thronbesteigung des Bata'iden Karib'il Watar 
Yuhan'im (II.), des Sohnes des Sabaerkonigs 
Wahab'il Yahuz, widmet. In der Schlufiinvokation 
ist an erster Stelle das traditionelle sabaische Pan- 
theon und dabei u. a. auch der in Bar'an residierende 
'Almaqah genannt 43 . Karib'il Watar Yuhan'im (II.) 
ist Vorganger und Koregent des Yarim 'Ayman, des 
Vaters von 'Alhan Nahfan, und wird in den 80er 
Jahren des 2. nachchristlichen Jhs. angesetzt 44 . Da- 
mit konnen wir eine mehr oder weniger zeitlich 
liickenlose epigraphische Belegung des Bar'an- 
Tempels von knapp 100 Jahren, von 180 bis um 
270 n. Chr., nachweisen. 

Es ist also keineswegs so, dafi der Bar'an-Tempel 
in nachchristhcher Zeit nur ein kleines Lokalheilig- 
tum gewesen ist, in dem lediglich Privatpersonen 
ihre Votivgaben hinterlassen haben. Auch wenn 
aufgrund des fehlenden epigraphischen Befundes 
davon auszugehen ist, dafi wir in nachaltsabaischer 
Zeit mit einem allgemeinen Niedergang zu rechnen 
haben, von dem nicht nur das Heiligtum betroffen, 
sondern in den die gesamte Oase von Marib invol- 
viert ist, so wird doch durch die Vielzahl von Dedi- 
kationen aus nachchristhcher Zeit offenkundig, 
dafS insbesondere im 2. und 3. Jh. Heiligtum und 
Kultus des 'Almaqah von Bar'an, wenn nicht eine 
massive, so doch spiirbare Aufwertung erfahren 
haben, was nicht zuletzt durch die epigraphische 
Prasenz mehrerer Generationen sabaischer Konige 
belegt wird. 

Ein nach wie vor ungelostes Problem, welches 
abschliefiend wenigstens angesprochen sei, bilden 
die verschiedenen Beinamen des "Almaqah von 
Bar'an. Seit den Anfangen der Sabaistik ist der 
Name der Gottheit in dieser Form oder - praziser 
ausgedriickt - in Form von »'Almaqah, Herr von 
Bar'an* gebrauchlich und geht, wie schon gesagt, 



auf das zweizeilige* Verbot am nordlichen Sau- 
lenstumpf des Propylon (Kat. 56) zuriick, in dem 
sowohl 'Almaqah, der Herr von Bar'an ('Imqh b'l 
br'n), als auch das Heiligtum Bar'an {mhrmn br'n) 
explizite genannt sind. 

Wie eine Durchsicht der bislang bekannten In- 
schriften einschlieBlich aller Fragmente zeigt, ist 
diese Namensform allerdings nicht die gelaufige. 
In den Dedikationen der altsabaischen Zeit wird 
'Almaqah bekanntUch ohne Beinamen angespro- 
chen, wie es nicht nur in den Widmungen aus dem 
Bar'an, sondern etwa auch in jenen aus dem nahe- 
gelegenen 'Awam oder aus dem 'Almaqah-Tempel 
in Sirwah der Fall ist. Die Ausnahme stellt der 
schon genannte Erlafi des Tempelverwalters und 
der Tempelvorsteher dar, in dem von 'Almaqah in 
Bar'um die Rede ist (Kat. 54) 45 . 

Wenn wir nun die Widmungen aus spaterer Zeit 
auf den Beinamen »Herr von Bar'an* hin uberpru- 
fen, so findet sich dieser lediglich in zwei Dedika- 
tionen aus der mittelsabaischen Periode, und zwar 
einmal in Kat. 36 46 und in J 535/6 f. = Kat. 46 47 . In 
beiden Fallen steht der Name mit Titulatur nicht in 
der Eingangsformulierung der Widmung nach dem 
Schliisselwort hqny, sondern erscheint im Text erst 
an spaterer Stelle 48 . Mit anderen Worten: Aus den 
Eingangsformulierungen der Widmungen aus nach- 
altsabaischer Zeit ist bislang kein Fall bekannt, 
in dem 'Almaqah mit dem Epitheton »Herr von 
Bar'an* belegt wird. Vielmehr wird die Gottheit 
in der Eingangsformulierung der Widmungen mit 



42 In dem Kalksteinfragmcm Kat. 71 ist lediglich der Rest der 

Konigstitulatur erhalten. 
" J 564/29: w'lmqb I b'l I mskt I viyew I br'n. 

44 C.J. Robin, Sheba dans les inscriptions d'Arabie du Sud, in: 
Supplement au dictionnaire de la Bible (19%) 1135. 

45 Die Form mit Mlm, die auch in Kat. 29 in dem Titel eines 
Vcrwalters von Bar'um (qyn br'm) bezeugt ist, ist in alt- 
sabaischer Zeit die als tiblich anzuseuende. Man vergleiche 
sthm, den Namen des Konigspalastes von Marib in der In- 
schrift des Karib'il Watar R 3946/5, neben dl/n in den mit- 
telsabaischen Inschriften. 

*' 'Imqhh V br 'yn, das Y in dem Tempelnamen ist kein Schreib- 
fehler, sondern begegnet auch in C 314+954/12 = Kat. 34 
und deutet auf ein langes /£/ hin. 

47 b- 'Imqbvj b'l br'n. 

" In Kat. 36, bei der der Anfang nicht erhalten ist, erscheint 
'Almaqah in der SchluSanrufung jedoch wieder mit Dop- 
peltitulatur. In J 535/2 = Kat. 46 ist auf der von A. Jamme 
lediglich als Abzeichnung veroffentlichten Inschrift 'Al- 
maqah ohne Beinamen anhand der Spuren zu erganzen. 



Zur Chronologie der Inschriften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 



117 



der Doppeltitulatur b'l mskt w~ytw br'n™ und in 
einem Fall (Kat. 45) mit deren zweitem Bestandteil 
b'lytw br'n angesprochen. 

Wenn wir nach einer Erklarung fur die verschie- 
denen Beinamen suchen, so scheint es zunachst, als 
hatte die Gottheit zu verschiedenen Zeiten auch 
verschiedene Beinamen getragen. Das zweizeilige 
Verbot, das 'Almaqah als Herrn von Bar'an aus- 
weist, stammt eindeutig aus nachaltsabiischer vor- 
christlicher Zeit, wahrend das Epitheton b'l mskt 
w-ytw br'n ausschliefilich in Dedikationen der 
nachchristlichen Zeit Verwendung findet. 

Dieser erste Eindruck wird aber bei einer ein- 
gehenderen Durchsicht der betreffenden Dedika- 
tionen nicht bestatigt. So ist in der fruhesten Wid- 
mung aus nachaltsabiischer Zeit (Kat. 30), die ihrer 
Paliographie nach approximativ um 200 v. Chr. 
(und vielleicht sogar noch ein wenig friiher) anzu- 
setzen ist, in Z. 1 nach hqny der Name der Gottheit 
eindeutig als 'lmqh/b'l/y[ ] zu lesen. Dieser kann 
aber unter Bezugnahme auf die aus nachchrist- 



hcher Zeit stammende Widmung einer Bronzelowin 
(Kat. 45) schwerlich anders als zu 'lmqh/b'l/y\tw 
br'n] erganzt werden. Damit ist zumindest der 
zweite Bestandteil der Doppeltitulatur bereits ver- 
haltnismafiig fruh bezeugt. Wir konnen daher durch- 
aus mit einiger Wahrscheinlichkeit annehmen, dafi 
die Doppeltitulatur nicht erst in nachchristlicher 
Zeit aufgekommen ist, aus der bekanntlich der 
Grofiteil der Statuettenwidmungen stammt, son- 
dern schon in den Dedikationen der ersten drei 
vorchristlichen Jahrhunderte als Beiname des 'Al- 
maqah von Bar'an gebrauchlich war, aus welchem 
Zeitraum wir aus dem Bar'an keine weiteren Wid- 
mungen besitzen. Auch wenn wir derzeit nicht 
wissen, welche Bewandtnis es im einzelnen mit der 
Doppeltitulatur des 'Almaqah hat, so konnen wir 
doch sagen, dafi ihr Aufkommen in eine Zeit fallt, 
die fur das sabaische Kernland um Marib und 
Sirwah nicht nur politisch, sondern auch in sprach- 
licher und kultureller Hinsicht eine deutliche Zasur 
darstellt. 



' Vgl. Kat. 33. 34. 35. 37. 39. 42-44, ferncr b der Aufschrift 
Kat. 72; in Kat. 38 ist die Eingangsformulierung nicht erhal- 
ten, die Doppeltitulatur erscheint jedoch in der Involution. 



118 



NOKBERT NfiBES 



ANHANG: KATALOG DER INSCHRIFTEN AUS DEM BAR'AN-TEMPEL 



VoRBEMERKUNGEN 

Unter den 73 im folgenden aufgefiihrten Inschrif- 
ten und Inschriftenfragmenten sind auch neun 
Nummern aufgenommen, die - teils schon lange 
bekannt und publiziert - eindeutig diesem Heilig- 
tum zugewiesen werden konnen 50 . Ebenfalls auf- 
genommen wurden mit Kat. 39 und Kat. 45 zwei 
unveroffendichte Widmungen aus der Muhafazat 
Marib, die nicht im Rahmen der Ausgrabungen ge- 
funden wurden, aber aufgrund des Beinamens des 
'Almaqah zweifelsfrei aus dem Heiligtum stammen. 
Der Katalog ist zuvorderst nach Inschriftengat- 
tungen angeordnet, wobei die Widmungen als die 
zahlenmaCig weitaus grofite Gruppe nach den ein- 
zelnen Gottheiten unterschieden werden. Unter 
diesen sind wiederum die an 'Almaqah gerichteten 
Dedikationen in der Mehrzahl, die ihrerseits da- 
nach aufgeschliisselt werden, ob ein Wtdmungs- 
objekc genannt ist, nach welchem, sofern vorhan- 
den, weiter differenziert wird. Innerhalb eines 
Unterpunktes sind die Inschriften chronologisch 
angeordnet, wobei fur die altsabaische Zeit (aSab) 
die Grobdatierung in die drei Phasen A, B und C 
in oben dargelegtem Sinne vorgenommen wird. 
Die Beispiele der nachaltsabaischen vorchristlichen 
Zeit sind versuchsweise mit Jahreszahlen ver- 
sehen. Von den Inschriften aus der mittelsabai- 
schen Periode (mSab) sind zuerst alle nach Herr- 
schern datierbaren Schriftzeugnisse aufgefiihrt, im 
Anschlufi foigen die eindeutig aus den ersten drei 
nachchristlichen Jahrhunderten einzuordnenden 
Nummern, die nicht weiter palaographisch auf- 
gegliedert sind. Unter einem letzten Punkt sind 
stark fragmentarische Inschriften und kleine, aber 
palaographisch und z.T. prosopographisch aus- 
sagekraftige Stucke aufgefiihrt, die ebenso wie die 
erhaltenen oder leicht fragmentarischen Stucke mit 
Siglen" versehen wurden und mit der moglichen 
Ausnahme von Kat. 72 durchweg Fragmente von 
Widmungen darstellen. Innerhalb der Widmungen 
- und in Abwandlung bei den anderen Textgattun- 
gen - wurden fur Inschriftentrager, Stifter, Gott- 
heit als Adressat der Dedikation und gegebenen- 
falls Widmungsobjekt sowie Herrschernennung" 
und Datierung entsprechende Rubriken eingerich- 
tet. Konnen aufgrund des fragmentarischen Erhal- 



tungszustandes keine Angaben gemacht werden, 
so wird dies durch [] gekennzeichnet. Sollte die 
Gottheit oder der Tempelname in der Eingangsfor- 
mulierung nicht erhalten, im weiteren Textverlauf 
in irgendeiner Form genannt sein, so wird diese 
bzw. dieser nach den eckigen Klammern mit 
Strichpunkt abgesetzt, wie auch alle weiteren Bei- 
spiele fur ein Stichwort innerhalb der betreffenden 
Inschrift mit Strichpunkten abgesetzt aufgefiihrt 
werden. Ein nicht ausgedriicktes Widmungsobjekt 
o. a. wird dagegen mit - angegeben. Der folgende 
Katalog dient als erste Ubersicht und grobe Orien- 
tierung fur die vorhergehenden Ausfiihrungen. 
Eine detaillierte Behandlung der Bar'an-Inschrif- 
ten mit ausfuhrlicher fotografischer Dokumenta- 
tion wird in einem der folgenden Bande der »Epi- 
graphische(n) Forschungen auf der Arabischen 
Halbinsel* vorgelegt werden. 



1. Widmungen fur 'Almaqah 
1.1 Widmungsobjekt nicht genannt 

1 DAI Bar'in 1994/5-5 
Trager: Messerklinge 
Stifter: ] zbym 
Adressat: 'Imqh 
Datierung: aSabA 

2 DAI Bar'in 1990/1-18 

Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragmente 
Stifter: ['m']rhmw bn gdam 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Herrscher: (Diener ('bd) des) yd"l 
Datierung: aSabB-C 



M Vgl. o. Anm. 7. Davon h»bcn allerdings nur C 400 und F 52 
ein DAI-Siglum erhalten, da beide Inschriften im Zuge der 
Ausgrabungen auf dem Gelande dokumentien worden sind. 

" Diese sind so angelegt, daB auf die wisscnschattliche Insti- 
tution (DAI) das Fundjahr und der mit Bindestrich abge- 
setzie Numerus currens folgt. 

" Ist der Herrscher oder Konig als Rekrum in einen Funkti- 
onstitel eingebunden, so wird dieser in Oberserzung mit 
dem sabaischen Ausdruck in runden Klammern mit aufge- 
fuhn. Ebenso werden unter dieser Rubrik auch Eponvmen 
aufgenommen. 



Zur Chronologie der Inschrtften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 



119 



3 DAI Bar'an 1990-9 = Nebes (2000) 17 Nr. 6 
Trager: Steinbockrelief 

Stifter: yt'krb bn smhkrb bn 'nnn 

Adressat: 'Imqb 

Herrscher: (Verwalter (qyn) des) yd"l w-yt"mr 

w-krb'l 

Datierung: aSabC 

4 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-3 = Nebes (2000) 16 Nr. 4 
Trager: Steinbockrelief 

Stifter: yt'krb bn smhkrb bn 'nnn 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Herrscher: (Verwalter (qyn) des) yd"l w-yt"mr 

w-krb'l 

Datierung: aSa.bC 

5 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-4 = Nebes (2000) 16 Nr. 5 
Trager: Steinbank 

Stifter: {yt'krb bn s]mhkrb bn 'nnn 
Adressat: 'Imqb 
Datierung: aSabC 

6 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-2 = Nebes (2000) 16 Nr. 3 
Trager: Quaderstein der Hofmauer 

Stifter: m'dkrb bn 'm'ns bn Iqfm 
Adressat: 'imqh 
Datierung: aSabC 

7 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-1 = Nebes (2000) 16 Nr. 3 
Trager: Quaderstein der Hofmauer 

Stifter: m'dkrb bn ['m^ns bn Iqfm 
Adressat: 'Imqh 
Datierung: aSabC 

8 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-10 = Nebes (2000) 17 Nr. 7 
Trager: Quaderstein der Hofmauer 

Stifter: 'myd' bn yhyt' d-qnyn 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Herrscher: (Diener ( c bd) des) yd"l w-yt"mr 

Datierung: aSabC 

9 DAI Bar'an 1988-3 = Nebes (2000) 16 Nr. 1 
Trager: Kallcsteinquader 

Stifter: wddl bn 'mkrb bn tlwt 
Adressat: 'Imqh 
Herrscher: w-b yt"mr 
Datierung: aSabC 

10 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-15 + 1991-5 
Trager: Tischaltar 
Stifter: sbhhmw d-tldn srmyn 
Adressat: 'Imqh; b-'lmqh BR'N (als Monogramm) 
Datierung: aSabC 



1.2 Widmungen von Personen 

11 DAI Bar'an 1988-2 = Seipel 325 Nr. 240 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: b'ttr bn swdm bn nw'm nhmyn 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Person (oder Altar?) fr't 

Herrscher und Eponym: w-b yd"l w-b 

m'dkrb 

Datierung: aSabB 

12 DAI Bar'an 1994/5-2 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: b'ttr bn swdm bn nw'm nhmyn 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Person (oder Altar ?) fr't 

Herrscher und Eponym: w-b yd"l w-b 

m'dkrb 

Datierung: aSabB 

13 DAI Bar'an 1996-1 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: b'ttr bn swdm bn nw'm nhmyn 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Person (oder Altar?) fr't 
Herrscher und Eponym: w-b yd"l w-b m'dkrb 
Datierung: aSabB 

14 DAI Bar'an 1994-1 

Trager: Rotlich eingefarbter Alabasterblock, aus 

drei Fragmenten bestehend 

Stifter: b'ttr ... bn r[']sbmw bn ybn'[m] 

Adressat: 'lmq\h\ 

Widmungsobjekt: Nachkommen (kl wldhw) 

Herrscher: w-b yd"l 

Datierung: aSabC 

15 F 52 = J 533 = DAI Bar'an 1990-6 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: Tmr bn 'm'hr bn 'tkln 
Adressat: 'Imqb 

Widmungsobjekt: Person dmryd' 
Datierung: aSabC 

16 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-5 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: Tmr bn 'm'hr bn 't[kl\n 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Person yt'rdm 
Datierung: aSabC 

17 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-9 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: ['m\rhmw w-r'shmw w-yt'm bnw 



120 



NoRBERT NEBES 



'Ihmw d-hyr'l 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Person (?) 'ivdm 
Datierung: aSabC 

18 DAI Bar'an 1994-5 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: 'mrhmw w-r'shm[w w-yt']m bnw 
'lhm\w\ d-hyr['l\ 
Adressat: 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: Person gfrt 
Datierung: aSabC 

19 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-17 

Trager: Altarblock aus Tisch und Basis 

Stifter: ]yhm'l grby\n\ 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Person (bnhmy) [] 

Datierung: aSabC 

20 DAI Bar'in 1991-6 
Trager: Tischaltarfragraent 
Stifter: ]'ttr 

Adressat: 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: Person 'b'ns 
Datierung: aSabC 

21 DAI Bar'an 1991-1 = Nebes (2000) 16 Nr. 2 
= Seipel 324 Nr. 237 

Trager: Steinbockrelief 

Stifter: 'mkrb bn r'shmw d-sqr 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Nachkommen (kl wldhw) 

Herrscher: (Vertrauter (mwdd) des) smh'ly 

w-yt"mr; w-h smh'ly w-h yt"mr 

Datierung: aSabC 



1.3 Widmungen von Land 

22 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-14 
Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragment 
Stifter: blk'mr bn g[dnm] 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Palmgarten Ha^lrum 
(nhlhw hzrm) 

Herrscher: b-yd"l 
Datierung: aSabB-C 

23 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-8 

Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragment 
Stifter: [] 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Land Manjialatum 
('rdhw mnhltm) 



Herrscher: ([Verwalter (qyn)} des]) [yd"] 
I w-yt"mr w-krb'l 
Datierung: aSabC 

24 DAI Bar'an 1990-5 = Seipel 322-325 Nr. 239 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: 'mrhmw w-r'shmiv w-yt'm bnw 'Ihmw 

d-hyr'l 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Land 'Ahzarum ('rdhmw 'fyzrm) 

Datierung: aSabC 

25 DAI Bar'an 2000-5 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: ['m]rhmw w-r'shmw [w-yt'm bnw 'Ihmw 

dhyr]'l 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Land MLGM ('rdhmw mlgm) 

Datierung: aSabC 

26 F 53+54 = J 532 
Trager: Altarblock 

Stifter: 'mrhmw w-r'shmw w-yt'm bnw 'Ihmw 

d-hyr'l 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Land Ramadum ('rdhmw rmdm) 

Datierung: aSabC 



1.4 Widmungen von Baulichkeiten 

27 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-6 - Nebes (2000) 17 Nr. 8 
Trager: Brunnenplatte 

Stifter: Ihy'tt bn sbhm d-'rypt 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Brunnen Nabarum (b'm nbpn) 

Herrscher: w-h yd"l 

Datierung: aSabB 

28 DAI Bar'an 1991-3 = Nebes (2000) 17 Nr. 9 
Trager: Oberlaufbecken 

Stifter: [] 

Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Alle Baulichkeiten (kl mbny) 

von [] 

Datierung: aSabC 



1.5 Widmung eines Altars und Nachkommen 

29 DAI Bar'an 2000-8 

Trager: Altar bestehend aus Basis und Opferplatte 
Stifter: yfd'l bn wiq'l bn sbhm mlhyn 
Adressat: 'Imqh 



Zur Chronologie der Inschkiften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 



121 



Widmungsobjekt: Steinaltar 'rst und Nachkommen 
(ztfrkl wldhw) 
Datierung: aSabB 



1.6 Widmungen von Statuetten 

30 DAI Bar'an 1994-4 
Trager: Kalksteinplatte 
Stifter: ] d-nthtn 

Adressat: 'Imqh b'l y[tw br'n\\ vgl. Kat. 45 
Widmungsobjekt: Statuette (mtln) 
Datierung: Urn 200 v. Chr. 

31 C 401 

Trager: Kalksteinfragment 

Stifter: [], w-krb'tt bnnyn 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'lmqh\ b-br'n, 

Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 

Herrscher: [Hbn nhfn w-bnyhw s'rm 'wtr mlky] sb' 

bny yrm 'ymn mlk sb' 

Datierung: Um 200 n. Chr. 

32 DAI Bar'an 2000-2 

Trager: Rechteckiges Kalksteinblock-Fragment 
Stifter: [] 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Herrscher: ['l\hn nhfn w-bn\yhw s'rm 'w]tr 
Datierung: Um 200 n. Chr. 

33 DAI Bar'an 2000-1 

Trager: Rechteckiges Kalksteinblock-Fragment 
Stifter: [s'rm 'wt]r . . .[bn 'lb]n nhfn 
Adressat: 'Imqh b'l mskt wytw b^r^n 
Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette u.a. 
Herrscher: s. Stifter 
Datierung: Um 210-230 n.Chr. 

34 C 314+954 

Trager: Kalksteinblock 

Stifter: rbsmsm yzd bn s'[rn w-]mhylm ^ 

[w^mwd^m [w-]smkm ... w-wbb['w]m y'df bn 

gdnm w-hdwt 

Adressat: 'Imqhb'lmsktwytwbrl'n]; 'Imqhbbr'yn 

Widmungsobjekt: Zwei Bronzes tatuetten 

(slmnhn d-dbbn) 

Herrscher: 'Isrh yhdb w~'J?ykw y'zl byn 

Datierung: Um 250 n. Chr. 

35 E 69 

Trager: Kalksteinblock 

Stifter: whb'wm y'df d-gdnm w-fydwt w-krb'tt 

Yd bn s'rn w-mhylm w-mwd'm w-smkm 



Adressat: 'Imqhb'lmsktwytwbr'n; b-br'n 
Widmungsobjekt: Zwei Bronzestatuetten 
(slmnhn d-dhbn) 

Herrscher: 'isrh yhdb w-'foyhw y'zl byn 
Datierung: Um 250 n. Chr. 

36 DAI Bar'an 1994-3 
Trager: Kalksteinblock 
Stifter: rtd'lw bn hlhlm w-shr 
Adressat: []; 'Imqhb'l br'yn; 
b-'lmqhb'lmsktwytwbr'yn 
Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Herrscher: 'Isrh yhdb w-'foyhw y'zl byn 
Datierung: Um 250 n. Chr. 

37 J 877 

Trager: Kalksteinblock 

Stifter: ns'krb [y*\mn yhrhb 

Adressat: 'lmqhthwnb'lmsktwypwbr'n\ 

b-'[lmqbt]hwnb'lmsktwypwb[r'n] 

Widmungsobjekt: Bronzes tatuette (slmn d-dbbn) 

Herrscher: s. Stifter 

Datierung: Um 260-270 n. Chr. 

38 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-13 
Trager: Kalksteinblock-Fragment 
Stifter: [] 

Adressat: []; b-'lmqbb'tms[ktwytw]br'n 
Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Herrscher: [ns\'krb y'mn yhrh\b] 
Datierung: 260-70 n. Chr. 

39 Marib Muhafaza 17 
Trager: Kalksteinblock 
Stifter: ws'm bn wdm 

Adressat: 'lm[q]h b'l mskt wytw br'n 
Widmungsobjekt: Statuette (s[t]mn) 
Datierung: mSab 

40 DAI Bar'an 1990-4 
Trager: Kalksteinblock 

Stifter: ~\b'I w-wbbs[msm] bny 'rgn 
Adressat: 'lmqkw[/b*t\/ f y*twn 
Widmungsobjekt: Statuette (slmn) 
Datierung: mSab 

41 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-11 
Trager: Kalksteinblock 
Stifterin: []; hlykm 
Adressat: []; 'lmq[h] 

Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Datierung: mSab 



122 



NOKBERT NEBES 



42 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-12 

Trager: Obere Hilfte eincs Kalksteinblocks 
Stifter: twb'l hwlyn 'mlhn 
Adressat: 'Imqhw b'l mskt wytw br'n 
Widmungsobjekt: Statuette (slmn) 
Datierung: mSab 



43 DAI Bar'an 2000-3 

Trager: Rotlich eingefarbter Kalksteinblock 
Stifter: rbnsrm w-bnyhw whbsmsm 
Adressat: 'Imqhb'lmskt wytw br'n; 
b-'lmqhb'lmskt wytwbr'n 
Widmungsobjekt: Zwei Bronzestatuetten 
(slm[n]hn d-dhbn) 
Datierung: mSab 



2.2 Widmungen fur Hawbas 

48 DAI Bar'an 1994-2 

Trager: Treppenartiger Kalksteinsockel 

Stifter: \f\ihm w-sbhm [b]n sfqhmw w-mlhhmw 

Adressat: hwbs 

Widmungsobjekt: Person hbr'l 

Datierung: aSabA 

49 DAI Bar'an 1994-10 = Seipel 86. 89 Nr. 24 
Trager: Runder Raucheraltar 

Stifter: 'm'm[r b]n nbt'l bn \ 
Adressat: hwbs 
Widmungsobjekt: - 
Datierung: aSabC 



45 



C404 

Trager: Kalksteuiblock-Fragment 

Stifter: [] 

Adressat: ['lm]qh b'l mskt wytw br['ti] 

Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 

Eponym: k]rb bn tb'krb bn f[dhm\ 

Datierung: mSab 



Marib Muhafaza 12 

Trager: Rotlich eingefarbter Kalksteinblock 

Stifter: m'dkrb bn wdm 

Adressat: 'Imqh b'lyVw br'n; b-'lmqh 

Widmungsobjekt: Lowin aus Bronze 

(Ib'n dt dhbn) 

Datierung: mSab 



2.3 Widmungen fur Sams 

50 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-16 
Trager: Raucheraltar 
Stifter: Diener ('bd) des 'ktbn 
Adressat: Sams in bry bns 
Widmungsobjekt: - 
Datierung: mSab 

51 DAI Bar'an 2000-6 
Trager: Raucheraltar 
Stifter: - 

Adressat: Sams in bry sms 
Widmungsobjekt: - 
Datierung: mSab 



46 J 535 

Trager: Kalksteinblock 

Stifter: [] 

Adressat: 't]mqh; b-'lmqhw b'l br'n 

Widmungsobjekt: Kamelstatuette aus Bronze 

('blm d-dhbm) 

Datierung: mSab 



2. Widmungen fur andere Gottheiten 
2.1 Widmung fur 'Attar 



2.4 Widmung fur 'Azlzlat 

52 DAI Bar'an 1991-4 

Trager: Rotlich eingefarbter Kalksteinblock 
Stifter: [tw]bn'm w-ttwbn'm bnt 'It d'bit 
Adressat: 'Ihhn 'izll b'l 'ddn 
Widmungsobjekt: Zwei Statuetten (slmtnbn) 
Datierung: mSab 



2.5 Widmung fur Nasrum 



47 DAI Bar'an 1996-4 
Trager: Raucheraltar 
Stifter: - 
Adressat: l-'ttr 
Widmungsobjekt: - 
Datierung: Um 100 v. Chr.? 



53 DAI Bar'an 1994/5-3 

Trager: Kalksteinblock-Fragment 
Stifter: [ ], mannliche Person 
Adressat: nsrm 

Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Datierung: mSab 



Zur Chronologie der Inschriften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 



123 



3. Inschriften juristischen Inhalts 

• 

54 DAI Bar'an 1990-1 = Nebes (1992) 
162 = Nebes (2000) 18 Nr. 10 
Trager: Quaderstein der Hofmauer 

Autor: l m'mr, Vorsteher der Verwalter von Bar'um 

(kbr qyn br'm), und alle anderen Vorsteher von 

Bar*um ('qyn br'm) 

Gottheit: 'Imqb b-br'm 

Inhalt: Ziegen, die sich der Tempelmauer nahern, 

sollen geschlachtet werden 

Rechtsformular: Erlafi (flythmw) 

Datierung: aSabC 

55 DAI Bar'an 1994/5-1 
Trager: Saulenfragment 

Autor: »Gemeinschaft« der Verwalter von Barman 

(iFbn qyn br'n) 

Inhalt: Zustandigkeit des r'sbmw fur Bauteile des 

Tempels 

Rechtsformular: Bekanntmachung (dt ydkrn) 

Datierung: Um 150 v. Chr. 

56 C 400 = J 551bis = J 534 = DAI Bar'an 1988-1 
Trager: Propylonstumpf 

Autor: - 

Inhalt: Verbot, Silber (oder Aromata oder andere 

Gegenstande; srf) aus dem Heiligtum Bar'an 

(mhrmn br'n) zu entfernen 

Rechtsformular: Verbot (w-'t in) 

Gottheit: 'Imqb b'l br'n 

Datierung: Um 100 v. Chr. 

57 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-7 
Trager: Brunnenplatte 
Autor: []; hmm (?) 

Inhalt: Beurkundung des hmm gegeniiber dem 
ms'dm iiber 48 ZMRN (tmn w-'rb'y zmrn) 
Rechtsformular: [], vielleicht »Ubergabe- 
urkunde* (wtf) 

Eponym: tb'krb bn ns'krb bn hzfrm 
Datierung: mSab 



4. Bauinschrift 



Bauobjekt: Obergeschofi Rahab des Hauses Sa'ban 
in der Stadt Marda'um (srhthmw rhb srht bythmw 
Vbn b-wst hgrhmw mrd'm) 
Datierung: mSab 



5. Stark fragmentarische Inschriften 

59 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-20 
Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragment 
Stifter: shmbhr [ 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: [] 
Datierung: aSabB-C 

60 DAI Bar'an 1990/1-21 
Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragment 
Stifter: 'msfq bn [ 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqb 
Widmungsobjekt: [] 
Herrscher: ] smh'ly w-yd"l 
Datierung: aSabB-C 

61 DAI Bar'an 1991-7 

Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragmente 

Stifter: ]£« bn yt'm 

Widmungsobjekt: - 

Herrscher o.a.: (Diener ('bd) des) 'msfq bn gdnm; 

w-b-'msfq w-blk'mr b[n g\dnm 

Datierung: aSabB-C 

62 DAI Bar'an 2000-4 

Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragmente 

Stifter: ]mtr 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: [] 

Herrscher o.a.: (Vorsteher (kbr) der *WHR des) 

'msfq 

Datierung: aSabB-C 

63 DAI Bar'an 2000-9 

Trager: Kalksteinblock-Fragment 
Stifter: dr' gr[byn] 
Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: [] 
Datierung: aSabB-C 



58 DAI Bar'an 1990-2 = Nebes (1992) 
163 = Nebes (2000) 18 Nr. 11 
Trager: Quaderstein mit ausgemeifielten Buchsta- 
ben am Sudturm 

Erbauer: [], Vorsteher des Stammes TRQY ('kbrw 
Vbn d-trqy) 
Bautatigkeit: ]«; w-hwtrn w-hsqrn 



64 DAI Bar'an 1994/5-6 

Trager: Kalksteinblock-Fragment 

Stifter: ]b 

Adressat: [] 

Widmungsobjekt: [] 

Herrscher o.a.: (Diener ('bd) des) ydmrml[k] 

Datierung: aSabB-C 



124 



NORBERT NEBE5 



65 DAI Bar'an 1990-3 

Trager: Kalksteinblock-Fragment 

Stifter: [] 

Adressat: [] 

Widmungsobjekt: Rauchergefafi (bhtn) und 

mzb['t] 

Datierung: aSabC 



70 DAI Bar'an 1994-7+1994/5-4 
Trager: Kalksteinfragmente 
Stifter: ns'krb y'mn yhrhb 
Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Herrscher: s. Stifter 
Datierung: Um 260-70 n. Chr. 



66 DAI Bar'an 1991-2 
Trager: Steinblockfragment 
Stifter: yt'krb bn smhkrb bn 'nn[n ] 
Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: - 

Datierung: aSabC 

67 DAI Bar'an 1994-6 
Trager: Altarblockfragment 
Stifter: k]rb bn gdnm 
Adressat: 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: M[, vermutlich Person 
Herrscher: (Diener {[*\bd) des) krb'l 
Datierung: aSabC 

68 DAI Bar'in 1990/1-19 

Trager: Steinbockrelief-Fragmente 
Softer: [] 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: Person i'bm 
Datierung: aSabC 



71 DAI Bar'an 1988-4 
Trager: Kalksteinfragmem 
Stifter: [] 

Adressat: [ ], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: [ ], vermutlich Statuette 
Herrscher: ] so' w-d-rydn 
Datierung: mSab 

72 DAI Bar'an 2000-7 
Trager: Kalksteinblock 

Aufschrift: 'lmqh]u> b'l mskt wytw br'n 
Datierung: mSab 

73 DAI Bar'an 1994-8 

Trager: Zahlreiche kleine Kalksteinfragmente 
Stifter: [] 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 
Widmungsobjekt: [], vermutlich Statuette 
Datierung: mSab 



69 DAI Bar'an 1994-9 

Trager: Kalksteinfragmem 

Stifter: [] 

Adressat: [], vermutlich 'Imqh 

Widmungsobjekt: [ ], vermutlich Statuette 

Herrscher: 'llrh yhd[b] 

Datierung: Um 250 n. Chr. 



Anschrift: 

Prof. Dr. Norbert Nebes, Friedrich-Schiller-Univer- 
sitdt, Institut fiir Sprachen und Kulturtn dtt Vor- 
deren Orients, Lobdergraben 24 a, D-07743 Jena, 
gnn@rz. uni-jena. de 



Zur Chronologie der Inschriften aus dem Bar'an-Tempel 125 

£}ji ipn (jSjiil ^ia jll Jiii t i nlti Jj» 
U*uj tiS j) ji 

(Norbert Nebes) 

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Jan Retso 



ARABS IN PRE-ISLAMIC SOUTH ARABIA 



The mentioning of people called Arabs in the pre- 
Islamic texts from South Arabia has been com- 
mented upon by some scholars in the past. The 
first one was J. Halevy (1899) followed by A. A. 
Alsekaf (1985), W. W. Muller (1988), M. A. Bafaqlh 
(1990) and Ch. Robin (1991) 1 . Groups called 'RB 
or "RB appear around 40 times in South Arabian 
Inscriptions, mostly Sabaean, including the late 
ones from the >Himyarite< period (from ca. 275 
A.D.). To these should be added the occurrence of 
the term "RB in the >long< title of the Himyarite 
kings from the time of 'Abukarib 'As'ad (first 
half of the 5 th century A.D., cf. Ry 509) until 
Ma'dlkarib Ya'fur (516 A.D., cf. Ry 510) 2 . 

All occurrences except one are found in texts 
written after the turn of the era. The latest occur- 
rence is in Abraha's stele (CIH 541) dated to the 
year 543/548 where he tells how he has subjugated 
'RB who had raided YZD, a chief of Kinda (KDT), 
and then employed them in repairing the dam in 
Marib 3 . The exception is R£S 3945 (line 17) 4 . Here, 
the defeat of the 'RB-M is mentioned between 
the operations of KRB'L WTR around Nashshan, 
Nashq and Kaminahu, and the conquest of 
Nagran. The dating of this text is still debated and 
it could be discussed whether the reference really is 
to >Arabs<. It should be noted that the conquest 
of the 'RB-M takes place together with that of 
YDHN and GZRT. 'RB is written with a final 
-M which might indicate that it is not a regular 
geographical name but something else. From the 
context it seems that these 'RB are to be found 
between al-Jawf and Najran. 

In this paper I shall make some observations 
from the South Arabian texts and suggest an iden- 
tification of these people. If we accept that this 
word is identical with the 'arab known from the 



later Arabic texts and also with the >Arabs< men- 
tioned in other pre-Islamic texts from the report of 
Saltnaneser III about the battle of Qarqar in 853 
onwards, it follows that the whole evidence should 
be taken into account in order to understand who 
the >Arabs< in South Arabia were. That does not 
necessarily mean that we automatically should 
assume that the word always refers to the same kind 
of people, although we should not exclude that 
possibility either. More properly speaking, we 
should not start by claiming that we know what 
the word means. Determining one's ignorance is a 
good start for an investigation. 

In spite of this, scholarly literature usually see 
Arabs as something unproblematic. It is said to 
refer to bedouin, Arabic-speakers, the Arab peo- 
ple, nomads, desert-dwellers etc. and no conflict 
is usually seen between these different terms 5 . An 
exception is Halevy who pointed out that 'RB in 
the Sabaean texts are defined »according to their 



1 J. Halevy, Les arabes dans les inscriptions sabeennes, Revue 
semitique d'epigraphie et d'histoire ancienne 7, 1899, 146- 
157; A. A. Alsekaf, La geographie cribale du Yemen antique, 
Diss. Paris III (1985); M. Gorg - H. Lang Benzinger (ed.), 
Neues Bibel-Lexikon (1988) 143-145 s.v. Araber fW. W. 
MiiUer); M. A. Bafaqlh, L'unification du Yemen antique 
(1990); Ch. Robin et al., L'Arabie antique de Karibtl a 
Mahomet, Revue du monde musulman et de la Mediter- 
ranee 61, 1991. 

2 G. Ryckmans, Inscriptions sud-arabes: Dixieme serie, Le 
Museon 66, 1953, 267-317. 

3 Corpus inscriptionum semiticarum pars quarca inscrip- 
tiones himyariticas et sabaeas continens III (1924). 

4 RES V-VII (1928-1950). 

5 Alsekaf op. cit. 36-40; Muller op. cit.; Bafaqlh op. cit. 
271-288; Robin op. cit. 73. 



128 



Jan Retso 



relation to the kings* 6 . The truth is, however, that 
there has never been a thorough investigation of 
the matter. The observations here are based on a 
study of the occurrences of the word >arab< and its 
derivations in all pre-Islamic sources, not only the 
South Arabian ones 7 . The method has been to read 
the word as X wherever it occurs, i. e. not taking 
for granted that the meaning is known. From a 
study of contexts and by an analysis of the sources 
an attempt has been made to draw some conclu- 
sions about what this word originally stands for in 
pre-Islamic sources. 

The South Arabian material is important since it 
consists of original documents, i. e. texts not trans- 
mitted by literary sources. This makes them similar 
to some papyri from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt 
and the Aramaic texts from Hatra in Mesopotamia 
where we also find Arabs mentioned. This even 
holds, to a somewhat lesser degree, for the Assy- 
rian inscriptions. It should, however, be kept in 
mind that these documents, at least as far as we 
know, are not written by >Arabs<. Both the literary 
sources and the documents, including the South 
Arabian texts, are written by non-Arabs. Unlike 
most of the literary sources, they can be considered 
official documents and can be expected to reflect 
current political and legal terminology rather than 
philosophical, theological and more or less schol- 
arly ideas and speculations. These latter are often 
prominent in the literary sources like the Greek 
literature (and also the later Arabo-Islamic sources) 
which have to be sifted very critically. 

The first main observation from the South Ara- 
bian texts is that the South Arabian kings, mostly 
Sabaean ones, had two relations to >Arabs<. Karib'il 
Watar conquered them as enemies. This is also re- 
ported by Karib'il Watar Yuhan'im from the 1" 
century A.D. who attacked >the land of the 'RB< 
(Ja 560). The same is told about a Qatabanian 
general from perhaps the same time 8 . In the time of 
'Alhan Nahfan (ca. 190 A.D.) Saba was attacked by 
Himyar, Hadramawt and "RB'. 

We thus have a series of texts describing the 
>Arabs< as enemies to the South Arabian kings. But 
there are also numerous texts where we hear about 
them as being allies of different kings. The "RB 
were obviously allies of the armies who attacked 
'Alhan Nahfan. From the time of Sha'rum 'Awtar 
(ca. 220 A.D.) we hear about one genera], named 
'BKRB 'HRS who was ordered to take command 



of people from Najmn and >Arabs< ("RB) to fight 
in the war with the Ethiopians (Ja 635) 10 . As a mat- 
ter of fact, most of the mentions of >Arabs< in 
South Arabian texts present them as allies or mer- 
cenaries to the South Arabian kingdoms. 

The second observation is that these two kinds 
of relations between Arabs and the kingdoms seem 
to be directly reflected by the grammar of the lan- 
guages. The enemies are, as a rule, called 'RB, 
'arab, the allies are called "RB, 'a'rab. The former 
are, in a couple of passages, located in their own 
region called >the land(s) of the Arabs< ('RprT] 
■RBN). The latter mostly occurs as the first part of 
a genitive construction like >the 'a'rab of Mario* 
(CIH 353), >the 'a'rab of the king* (Nami 72+ 
73+71, Ja 665, Ir 32)", even .the 'a'rab of Kinda< 
("RB KDT, Sharafaddin 32) 12 . This polarisation is 
almost completely consistent in the South Arabian 
texts with only a few exceptions (Ir 32, Ja 671, CIH 
397, Ry 510). 

In consequence, the Arabs in the >long< royal 
title of the Himyarite kings from 'Abukarib 'As'ad 
to Ma'dikarib Ya'fur appear as 'a'rab: MLK 
SB' WDRYDN WHDRMwT WYMNT W'RBHMW 
TWDM WTHMTM, »...and their 'a'rab of (or 
rather >in<) the highland and the lowland*. The suf- 
fix -HMW, >theirs seems to refer to all the areas 
mentioned before, thus the 'a'rab of Saba, Dhfi 
Raydan etc. i.e. the 'a'rab who belonged to them 
or were their allies. This also holds for the expres- 
sion "RB KDT (Ry 508) which should be trans- 
lated »the 'a'rab of Kinda«, the meaning being that 
Kinda consisted of Kindites plus the 'a'rab. These 
'a'rab of the last Himyarite kings from the beginning 
of the 4 century A.D. even stood under a special 
royal commander, the KBR "RBN (Ja 665, Ir 32). 

' Halevy op.cit. 

' A full survey of the use of the terms 'RB and "RB in South 
Arabian texts as well as in other pre-Islamic sources is 
found in J. Retso, The Arabs in Antiquity. Their History 
from the Assyrians to the Umayyads (2003). 

1 Doe 2 in A. F. L. Beeston, Miscellaneous Epigraphic Notes, 
Raydan 4, 1984, 9-2. 

' Nami 72 + 72 + 71 in H. v, Wissman, Himyar. Ancient His- 
tory, Le Museon 77, 1964, 429-497. 

10 A. Jamme, Sabaean Inscriptions from Mahram Bilqls 
(Marib), PAFSM 3 (1962). 

11 M.A. Iryini, NuquJ musnadiyya wa-ta'hqir 1 (1990). 

" A. F. L. Beeston, Warfare in Ancient South Arabia (2°"- 3 rd 
centuries A.D.), Qahtan. Studies in Old South Arabian 
Epigraphy Fu. 3 (1976). 



Arabs in pre-Islamic South Arabia 



129 



This seems to reflect a distinction between the 
'RB outside the kingdoms and the "RB subject to 
the kingdoms. The latter obviously belonged to the 
rulers of the South Arabian kingdoms, and also to 
some tribes like Kinda, and were obliged to take 
part in the military expeditions launched by the 
kings. According to some texts, e.g. Ja 561bis, they 
lived along the north eastern borders of former 
North Yemen, i. e. the border regions of Hashid. 

The picture of the "RB in the South Arabian 
texts strongly reminds us of that of the 'a 'rab in the 
Qur'an. They are mentioned in suras 9: 90, 97-101, 
120; 33: 20; 48: 11-16 and 49: 14-15. These pas- 
sages are ascribed to the late Medinean period. The 
picture emerging from these Qur'anic passages is 
that the 'a'rab were supposed or obliged to take 
part in the military expeditions organized by the 
Muslim community in Medina. They are blamed 
for not having done so, i.e. not having fulfilled 
their duties, and strongly criticized for this be- 
haviour. Because of these verses, 'a'rab in later 
Arabic literature became a negative designation 
for members of the Islamic community who do 
not fulfill their duties as supporters or auxiliaries to 
the Muslim army. It became a synonym for defec- 
tors. 

The Arab lexicographers state that the 'a'rab be- 
long to those who live in the areas outside the 
walled cities, the badiya". The parallels between 
the 'a'rab of the Qur'an and the "RB of the South 
Arabian inscriptions is indeed striking. In the lat- 
ter, there is no indication that "RB is a general 
designation for >nomads< or bedouin or the like. 
The same holds for the Qur'anic 'a'rab, against the 
common view that by 'a'rab is always meant 
bedouin, i. e. wild warriors riding on camels. The 
badiya is not necessarily a designation for what 
we would call >desert<. Instead it stands for areas 
outside walled cities where one could find both 
farmers, living in unfortified villages, and shep- 
herds of different kinds 14 . Among these, one could 
also find the 'a'rab. They were not nomads or 
bedouin in the modern sense of the word. Instead 
they appear as people living outside the city of 
Medina but standing in some kind of dependence 
on the city which made it incumbent upon them to 
support the Medineans in their military operations. 
An unprejudiced reading of the Qur'anic verse 
makes it likely that the 'a'rab had the same 
function in Medina as they had in South Arabia, 



probably living in the border areas as some kind 
of border guards. 

This is, in fact, the picture find also in the 
Middle East in general, e.g. in Ptolemaic and 
Roman Egypt where it is completely clear from 
contemporary documents (papyri) that Arabs were 
employed as border guards and police forces. Also 
in Egypt they stood under the command of a spe- 
cial official, the arabarkhes, an office which we also 
find in the Nabataean kingdom and on the shores 
of the Euphrates around Dura Europos in the 
Roman period. 

In the South Arabian texts there are indications 
of a geographical location of the 'RB. In RES 3945 
it is clear that they dwelt somewhere between al- 
Jawf and Najran. The "RB of the Sabaean kings 
were located along the border of HSD, i. e. south 
from 'Amir down to Marib. The land of the Arabs, 
'ard al- 'arab, is in early Islamic literature located to 
a region close to Najran 15 . 

There is no doubt that the word "RB is derived 
from 'RB. According to the grammar of Sabaean, 
"RB should be the plural of 'RBY, i. e. the nisba- 
adjective like 'HMR from HMYRY and 'HB§ 
from HBSY 16 . This leads to the conclusion that 
the Qur'anic 'a'rab might be a South Arabian loan- 
word into the Qur'anic language and that the 
'a'rab in Medina, in fact, were an institution of 
mercenaries or border guards of the same kind as 
the "RB of the South Arabian kings. 

When the Yemenis sent a delegation to the 
Prophet in the year 630 it is said that the land of 
Yemen consisted of four classes of people: 'ahmur, 
khala'it, mawall and 'a'rab 17 which sounds like a 
genuine description of conditions in Himyar. It is 
difficult to see the 'RB etc. in the South Arabian 
texts as a general designation for people living in 
the rest of the Arabian peninsula or bedouin, 
nomads etc. Instead we see two groups, the 'RB 



13 Lisan al-'arab li-'Abi Fad] Gamil ad-Din b. Makram b. 
Manzur al-'Ifriq! al-Misrl (no year) s. v. 'RB. 

14 Ibidem s.v. BDW. 

15 F. wiistenfeld (ed.), Das Leben Muhammed's nach Mu- 
hammed Ibn Ishak bearbeitet von Abd el-Malik Ibn Hi- 
scham 1 1 (1858). 1 2 (1859). II (1860). Reprint (1961) 20-22. 

11 A.F.L. Beeston, Sabaic Grammar (1984) 26. 

17 E. Mittwoch (ed.), Ibn Saad. Biographien Muhammeds, 

seiner Gefahrten und der spateren Trager des Islams bis 

zum Jahre 230 der Fhicht I (1905) 73. 



130 



Jan Retso 



living in a region close to Najran and al-Jawf, and 
the "RB being people engaged by the South Ara- 
bian kings and also by some large tribes like Kinda 
as mercenaries and border guards. The connection 
between these two groups is admittedly not alto- 
gether clear. One might suggest that the "RB were 
people who originally belonged to the collective 
'RB group but had been hired by rulers of different 
kinds as soldiers and guards as hinted at already by 
Halevy in 1899. 

This picture of Arabs emerging from an un- 
prejudiced reading of the South Arabian texts is re- 
markably consistent with the picture of the Arabs 
emerging from a similar reading of the other pre- 



Islamic sources from the north and also with the 
testimony of the Qur'an. From the complete evi- 
dence it seems clear that >arabs< in antiquity is a 
designation of limited groups of people, located in 
some special areas in Arabia and adjacent regions, 
and not a general designation of people living in 
Arabia, let alone nomads or bedouin. 



Address: 

Prof. Dr. Jan Retso, Department of Oriental and 
African Languages, Goteborg University Box 200, 
SE-40S30 Goteborg, jan.retso@arab.gu.se 



A&ABS IN PRE-ISLAMIC SOUTH ARABIA J3J 

(Jan Rets6) 

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Christian Julien Robin 

HIMYAR AU IV e SIECLE DE L'ERE CHRETIENNE 
Analyse des donnees chronologiques et essai de mise en ordre 



La chronologie sudarabique du rv° s. e. chr. a ete 
esquissee par A. Jamme et par H. von Wissmann 
dans les annees 1960. En 1994, K.A. Kitchen en a 
propose une version amendee 1 , qui prenait en 
compte les documents publies entre-temps. Je vou- 
drais montrer ici que cette derniere etude peut etre 
amelioree sur plusieurs points, en utilisant notam- 
ment les donnees chronologiques fournies par les 
guerres qui opposent Himyar au Hadramawt ou 
par celles qu'evoque l'inscription de 'Abadan. 



I. Les donnees disponibles 

Pour construire la chronologie du rv 1 s., les don- 
nees dont on dispose peuvent etre classees en cinq 
categories. II s'agit tout d'abord des diverses titula- 
tures des rois de Himyar. Les souverains sont 
appeles »roi de Saba' et de dhu-Raydan« 2 (titula- 
ture courte), des origines (au debut du i" s. e. chr.) 
jusqu'au regne de Shammar Yuhar'ish; puis »roi de 
Saba', dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt et Yamnat« 3 (titu- 
lature longue), apres la conquete du Hadramawt 
occidental; enfin »roi de Saba', dhu-Raydan, 
Hadramawt, Yamnat et de leurs (tribus) nomades 
dans le Tawd um et la Tihamat« 4 (titulature tres lon- 
gue) a partir du moment ou - a la fin du regne 
d'Ablkarib As'ad (vers 440-450) - Himyar etend 
son influence en Arabie centrale et occidentale. 

L' evolution de la titulature permet done de clas- 
ser les souverains en trois groupes successifs. Mais 
il n'est peut-etre pas inutile de se demander si la ti- 
tulature represente un critere chronologique in- 
contestable. Certes, la date d'apparition des formu- 
les les plus longues fournit un terminus post quem 
assure. En sens inverse, il n'est jamais exclu qu'un 
souverain soit mentionne avec un titre plus court 



que celui en usage officiellement. L'inscription de 
Masna'at Mariya en donne un bon exemple. 

Dans ce texte qui commemore des travaux 
d'amenagement realises par des particuliers ou 
une tribu dont le nom a disparu, le roi Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im n'est pas invoque avec la titulature lon- 
gue, que portent tous les souverains qui le prece- 
dent ou le suivent, mais au moyen de l'enonce bref : 
»avec le soutien de leur seigneur Tha'ran Yuhan'im 
roi de Saba' et de dhu-Raydan, fils de Dhamar'all 
Yuhabirr roi de Saba' et de dhu-Raydan« 5 . 

L'inscription mentionne la date de 434, dans un 
comput qui est sans aucun doute l'ere himyarite 6 , 
pour les travaux qu'elle commemore (11. 11-12), 
soit 324-325 e. chr.; il est done certain que le 
Tha'ran mentionne a regne au iv° s. e. chr. et doit 



Pour les sigles designant des inscriptions sudarabiques, se refe- 
rer a K. A. Kitchen, Bibliographical Catalogue of Texts, Docu- 
mentation for Ancient Arabia II, The World of Ancient Arabia 
Series (2000). 

1 K.A. Kitchen, Chronological Framework and Historical 
Sources, Documentation for Ancient Arabia I, The World 
of Ancient Arabia Series (1994) 217-219, a completer avec 
idem, Bibliographical Catalogue of Texts (2000) 729 sq. 

2 mlk S'b' w-d-Ryd". 

3 mlk S'b' w-d-Ryd" ■w-Hdrmwt w-Ymnt. 

4 mlk S 1 b' w-d-Ryd n w-Hdrmwt w-Ymnt w-"rb-hmw Twd™ 
w-Tbmt. La premiere inscription qui emploie cette titula- 
ture tres longue presente une petite variante: ». . . et les ( tri- 
bus) nomades duTawdet de la Tihamat«, ... w-"rb Twdw- 
Thmt. 

5 LI. 13-14, w-b-mqm mr'-bmw T't" Yhn'm mlk S'b 1 
w-d-Ryd" bn Dmr'ly Yhbr mlk S'b' w-d-Ryd". 

6 Voir Ch. Robin, Decompte du temps et souverainete politi- 
que en Arabie meridionale, dans: F. Briquel-Chatonnet- 
H. Lozachmeur (ed.), Proche-Orient ancien: temps vecu, 
temps pense, Actes de la Table-Ronde du 15 novembre 1997 
organisee par 1'URA 1062 »£tudes semitiques«, Antiquites 
semitiques 3 (1998) 121-151 notamment le tableau p. 151. 



134 



( IlKIM! \\ J[ I II \ RnHIS 




Fig. I L'Arabie menumnale vers 2SC e. Chr., .nam Li conquete du riadramawi 



etre distingue de son homonyme du n' s. e. ehr. 
Ccttc date de I ha'ran s'accorde bien avee eelles qui 
peuvent etre deduites de la chronologic- des guerres 
dans 'Abadan 1 (voir ci-dessous). 

Pourquoi les auteurs de I'inscription preterem- 
ils donner au souverain la titulature courte, alors 
que la longue esl d'un cmploi sy stimatique ? Une 
premiere explication pourrail etre que Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im exerce une sortc de vice royaute sur 

Himyar au sens etroit (la reg de ?afar), alors 

que son pcre regne sur I'ensemble de I'empirc I lie 
doit etre ecartee d'emblee: dans I'invocation, le 
pere de Tha'ran est egalemenl pourvu de la inula 
ture eourte. 

Une deuxieme interpretation pourrait etre que 
la titulature de Dhamar'all Yuhabirr (et celle de son 
tils Tha'ran, associe au trone commc vice mm i esl 

courte parce que ce roi n'a pas c re etc intronise 

par I'ensemble des composantcs dc I'cmpin Mais 

d'autres insi riptions ill H el )2) p veni que 

Dhamar'all Yuhabin portc la titulature longui 
avanl meme que Tha'ran Yuhan'im sou assoi ic an 
trone. 

I • tplil all.. II la plus viaisriiililal.li esl que les 

auteurs du teste, des I linn .11 lies de souchc, don 



nent a leur souverain le litre traditionnel, qui a 
eesse d'etre utilise oIIk icllement, par habitude: 
on observe d'ailleurs que seules les inscriptions 
royales respectem scrupuleusement la phras 
officielle, tandis que les testes rediges pai li 
culiers prennent souvenl quelque liberie avec les 
tommies stereotypees. De plus, une titulature 
breve raccourcissail le teste et diminuait d'autant le 
coul de sa gravure. 

II convient d'ailleurs de remarquei que, \cn la 
in in. .p. .que (sous la coregence de Dhamar'all 
Viliahiii ei de son liK Tha'ran Yuhan'im), la 



I 11. ..in iti.'ii ,i. , . i\ |>. )m. .a in, in . sous le ri 

Kiul.'.l I'.,. ... ... i .1, S.I., ,, ,1, ,!l,„ K.n.hn, fill dc I'l,., 

...... ..I. I'll. ..I., .... I Nuha'lunb Yuha min, roi .1. 

Saba', Ills ,1. I *li in. . i .1. I Hi.ioli i ,. I. mi, i.. i ,1, 

s.l'. ..I. p. ii mi i cc propos, sc reporter a Ch K.. 

bin, -I 'in-.. tijMii.n li i .1. K i . ' I ' .!. ... i 1 1 .. il.i I ..... , 
.I,,... i I. Robin M Blfaqlh ...I .. Sayhadu , k.,1,,,,1., i 

le I'Anibie pn . .1 uniq n. nts pai *a 

.11. ,ii, i.. Is. a. ... ui si I Beeston, I \. ibii preisla 
miqu. l i 191 '. I Iota 



HlMYAK AU IV* SlECLE DE L'feRE ChRETIENNE 



135 



monarchie himyarite est designee par l'expression 
»les rois de Saba' et de dhu-Raydan« (Schmidt- 
Ma'rib 28/10-11). Ce titre exprime bien l'essence 
du pouvoir royal a cette epoque. 

Une deuxieme categorie de donnees utiles pour 
construire la chronologie est constitute par les ins- 
criptions datees. Pour la periode retenue, les plus 
significatives sont: 



pour construire la chronologie. lis permettent 
d'esquisser deux fragments de genealogies. La 
premiere sequence se limite a deux generations 
(Yasir ura - Shammar): 

Regne de Yasir"™ Yuhan'im TC, 

Coregence de Yasir"™ Yuhan'im et de son fils 

Shammar Yuhar'ish TC, 

Regne de Shammar Yuhar'ish TC, 

Regne de Shammar Yuhar'ish TL. 



Texte 


Date 


Regne 


Mi'sal 5 


198 radm. 


Yasir"" 1 Yuhan'im TC 


CIH 46 (= Gl 799) 


385 him. 


Yasir"™ Yuhan'im + fils Shammar Yuhar'ish TC 


Gl 1594 


[3]89 him. 


Yasir"™ [...]TC 


CIH 448+Hakir 1 


396 him. 


Yasir"™ Yuhan'im + fils Shammar Yuhar'ish [TC] 


RES 4196 


316 madh. 


Yasir"" 1 Yuhan'im + fils Shammar Yuhar'ish TC 


Av. Busan 4 


[40]7 him. 8 


Shammar Yuhar'ish TL 


YMN13 


409 [him.] 


Shammar Yuhar'ish TL 


YM 1695 


42[0] him. 


Shammar Yuhar'ish TL 


VL29a 


345 madh. 


Pas de souverain 


Masna'at Mariya 


434 [him.] 


Tha'ran Yuhan'im TC fils de Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr TC 


MAFRAY-HasT 5 


3[6]5 madh. 


Pas de souverain 


'Abadan 1 


470 him. 


Tha'ran Yun'im, Tha'ran Ayfa', Dhamar'ali Ayfa' 



him.: ere de Himyar dont le debut peut etre sitae 
en avril 110 av. e. chr. 

madh.: ere de Madhiy"" 1 , dont le debut est approxi- 
mativement en 33±11 av. e. chr. 
radm.: ere de Radman, dont le debut serait en avril 
74 e. chr. 

TC: titulature courte; 
TL: titulature longue; 
1TL: titulature tres longue. 
• 
Cette liste permet avant tout de constater qu'entre 
396 et [40]7 him., Shammar Yuhar'ish passe de 
la titulature courte, heritee de son pere, a la lon- 
gue. 

Les liens de parente entre souverains constituent 
une troisieme categorie de donnees exploitables 



La seconde sequence comporte cinq generations 
(Dhamar'ali - Tha'ran - Malklkarib - Abikarib - 
Shurihbill): 

Regne de Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr TL, 

Coregence de Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr et de son fils 

Tha'ran Yuhan'im TL, 

Regne de Tha'ran Yuhan'im TL (TC dans 

Masna'at Mariya), 

■ La restitution de la date, 11. 5-6 (/ | mdr" d-b-\}ryf d-1-s'b't 
w-[. . . \hd bn 'bbd), est assuree. La conjonction wdv> apres 
s'b't interdit de suppleer [41]7 (s'b't '[s'r w-'rb' m'f]; voir 
par exemple Garb Ant. Yem., 9. Bayt al-Ashwald, date de 
619, d-l-ts"t 's'rw-s'lm'f). Par ailleurs, la date de [39]7 est 
exclue par la chronologie: en 396 him., Shammar regne 
encore avec son pere, et il est difficile de supposer qu'en une 
annee, il ait succede' a son pere, regne pendant un certain 
temps avec la titulature courte et adopte la titulature longue. 



136 



Christian Jtjlien Robin 



Coregence de Tha'ran Yuhan'im et de son fils 
Malklkarib Yuha'min TL, 
Coregence de Malklkarib Yuha'min et de ses fils 
AbTkarib As'ad et Dhara"amar Ayman TL, 
Coregences d'Ablkarib As'ad avec diverses se- 
quences de fils TL, puis TTL, 
Regne de Shurihbill Ya'fur TTL. 

L'evolution des coregences est une quatrieme cate- 
gorie de donnees. Elle offre des indications chro- 
nologiques precieuses, mais doit etre maniee avec 
precaution. II apparatt en effet que seules les ins- 
criptions royales enumerent avec precision tous les 
occupants du trone. Les textes rediges par les parti- 
culiers ne citent pas necessairement tous les souve- 
rains. 

L'exemple le plus significatif est fourni par Bayt 
al-Ashwal 1. Dans ce texte, le juif Yahuda' invoque 
le roi Dhara"amar Ayman'. Or il semblc assure 
que ce souverain n'a jamais regne seul. En dehors 
de ce texte, il est toujours atteste en coregence avec 
son pere Malklkarib Yuha'min et son frere Abika- 
rib As'ad, ou comme l'un des coregents de son 
frere AbTkarib As'ad 10 . II disparait probablement 
avant son frere Abikarib As'ad, comme le montre 
la comparaison de Garb-Minkath l" et de Ry 
534+MAJPY-Rayda 1/2-3 12 . 

Enfin, pour elaborer la chronologie, il reste un der- 
nier ensemble d'informations, les evenements de 
toutes sortes qui peuvent etre ordonnes en sequen- 
ces. C'est l'approche qui a ete la moins exploree et 
que nous allons essayer de mettre en ceuvre. Mais 
auparavant, il convient de rappeler quels sont les 
regnes du rv* siecle sur lesquels 1'attention doit se 
porter parce que leur date est particulierement in- 
certaine. Ce sont: 

Regne de Kartell Watar Yuhan'im TL (Ir 28, 
Ja 666, Ja 667) 

Coregence de Yasir 1 "" Yuhan'im et de Tha'ran 
Ayfa' TL Qa. 664) 

Coregence de Yasir"™ Yuhan'im et de son fils 
Dhara"amar Ayman TL (Ir 29, Ja 665) 
Coregence de [XXX Yu]han'im et de son fils 
[XXX A]yfa' rois[. . . (Garb, Framm. Ep. Sab. 6) 
Coregence de [XXX] et son frere Tha'ran Ayfa' 
rois[ ... (Gl 1539) 
II serait egalement necessaire de cerner plus preci- 
sement qui sont »le roi Tha'ran Ayfa'« et le roi 
•Dhamar'alT Ayfa'« dans 'Abadan 1/24 et 26. 



II. La premiere •guerre himyartto- 

HADRAMAWTIQUE SOUS SHAMMAR YuHAR'iSH: 
LA CONQUiTE DU HADRAMAWT OCCIDENTAL 

Deux guerres ont ete necessaires a Himyar pour 
conquerir le Hadramawt. Pour l'une comme pour 
l'autre, le deroulement de Taction principale, a 
savoir les operations menees par l'armee royale 
himyarite, nous est inconnu. Nous ne sommes ren- 
seignes que sur certaines actions de diversion effec- 
tuees par des Sabeens ou par des Arabes dependant 
de Saba', parce que ces allies de Himyar ont adresse 
a leurs divinites des actions de graces qui nous sont 
parvenues. 

La premiere guerre a lieu sous le long regne de 
Shammar Yuhar'ish, qu'elle divise en deux sequen- 
ces de duree approximativement egale. 

Les documents: CIH 431+438+948, Ja 656, 
M. Bayhan 5, Sharaf al-Dln 32 et Sharaf al-Din 
34. Tous commemorent la dedicace d'offrandes 
dans les temples de Marib, soit Awwam (Ja 656, 
M. Bayhan 5, Sharaf al-Din 32 et 34) soit Bahr 
Hatab um (CIH 431+438+948). L'un (M. Bayhan 5) 
date du debut du conflit. Les autres evoquent un raid 
victorieux dans le wadi Hadramawt, jusqu'a Say'un. 



M. Bayhan 5 (Shammar Yuhar'ish TC) 

Shaf'athat Awlat Ayhar fils de Shahr, chef de la 
cavalerie royale, fait une dedicace dans le temple 
Awwam, parce qu'Almaqah I'a exauce >quand son 
seigneur Shammar Yuhar'ish, roi de Saba' et de 
dhu-Raydan, fils de Yasir™" Yuhan'im roi de Saba' 



* »Avec le soutien de son seigneur Dhara"amar Ayma(')n roi 
de Saba', dhu-Raydan, r^adramawt ec Yamnat*, vhb-mqm 
mr'-hui Qr"mr 'ym'n mik S'b' i»-4-RytF w-HJrmwt w- 
Ymnt. 

10 Ch. Robin, Le Royaume r^ujride, dit «royaume de Kinda», 
entre himyar et Byzance, dans: CRAIBL 1996, 682 sq. 

11 G. Garbini, Una bilingue sabeo-ebraica da Zafar, AION 30, 
1970, 163 sq. pi. ll b: > AbTkarib As'ad, son frere Dhara"amar 
Ayman et ses fils riassan Yuha'min, Ma'dlkarib Yun'im et 
r^ugr Ayfa', rois de Saba', dhu-Raydan, r^adramawt et 
Yamnat*. 

" ». . . pour le salut de leurs seigneurs Abikarib As'ad, Hassfjui 
Yu]ha'min, Ma'dlkarib Yuhan'im, Marthadllin Yaz'an et 
Shurihbill Ya'fur, rois de Saba', dhu-Raydin, Hadramawt 
et [Yamn]at«. 



HlMYAR AU IV* SlECLE DE L'eRE ChRETIENNE 



137 



et de dhu-Raydan, l'a envoye pour surveiller et 
prendre en embuscade les secours de Kiddat, 
quand ceux-ci portaient secours au Hadramawt, 
et qu'il les prit en embuscade a Arak«". 

La cavalerie himyarite tend done une embuscade 
a la tribu arabe de Kiddat (en arabe Kinda) a Arak, 
un endroit qui est a nouveau le theatre d'un accro- 
chage entre Himyarites et Hadramawtiques, quel- 
ques decennies plus tard (Ja 665/22). Arak se 
trouve certainement dans le desert qui s'etend entre 
Marib et le Hadramawt. Une premiere localisation 
pourrait etre le petit massif de Ruwayk, a 120 km 
a l'ouest-nord-ouest de Shabwa, a 125 a l'ouest 
d'al-'Abr et a 100 km au nord-est de Marib 14 , si on 
suppose que Ruwayk est une deformation de 'rk li . 
Une autre possibility serait de reconnattre dans 
Arak le nom ancien de Bi'r Hamad (a 100 km a 
l'est-nord-est de Shabwa et a 80 km au sud-est 
d'al-'Abr), comme le suggere le deroulement des 
operations dans Ja 665. 

M. Bayhan 5 est le premier document du regne 
de Shammar Yuhar'ish a faire etat d'un conflit 
entre Himyar et le Hadramawt, alors que ce souve- 
rain porte encore la titulature courte. Le soutien 
que la tribu de Kiddat apporte au Hadramawt est 
inattendu: precedemment, cette tribu etait sous la 
tutelle de Saba' et, par la suite, elle fournit regu- 
lierement des auxiliaires nomades au roi de Himyar 
(voir Ir 32, Ja 665, Sharaf al-DTn 32 ci-dessous). 



raid contre les villes et les vallees de 'Uqran 17 , 
Shibam, Ratghat"™ et Say'un, qui sont devastees. 



Ja 656 (Shammar Yuhar'ish TL) 

Zaydqawm"™ Yadra' et ses descendants, deux fils 
(Rabl'at [. Jhar et Kinanat Yabdur) et cinq petits- 
fils (Taymallat As'ad, Wafiy um Azraf, Wahballat, 
Yahmad et Abikarib) sont des banu 'Athkalan (plus 
precisement des banu 'Athkalan 'Asyat et dhu-Ra- 
sam um ), l'un des plus prestigieux lignages sabeens, 
compte au nombre des Mathamina (Robin 1989). 
lis font une dedicace dans le temple Awwam, no- 
tamment parce qu'ils sont revenus sains et saufs et 
combles de deux campagnes guerrieres. 

Pendant la premiere, ils ont servi sous les ordres 
de Shammar Yuhar'ish, roi de Saba', dhu-Raydan, 
Hadramawt et Yamnat (noter la titulature longue), 
lors des hostilites que SharahTl et Rabbishams"™, 
rois du Hadramawt, avaient provoquees. La se- 
conde campagne les amene, avec leur tribu Saba' 
Kahlan, dans le Sarlran (nom ancien du wadl 
Hadramawt a partir de Suran). 

Cette seconde campagne est sans doute identi- 
que a celle evoquee dans Sharaf al-DTn 32, puis- 
qu'on retrouve la meme tribu (Saba') et les memes 
resultats. Shammar Yuhar'ish a encore la titulature 
courte dans Sharaf al-Din 32, mais deja la titulature 



Sharaf al-DTn 32 (Shammar Yuhar'ish TC) 

Deux gouverneurs (toz 1 ) de la tribu de Saba', 
Ya'mar Ashwa' et son frere Zaydqawm" m Aryam 
banu dhu-Khalfan Anmar™, commemorent la de- 
dicace d'une statue de bronze a Almaqah Thahwan 
maitre d'Awwam. Parmi les motifs de reconnais- 
sance, les auteurs rappellent le succes d'une expedi- 
tion dans le Hadramawt oriental, executee a la 
demande de Shammar Yuhar'ish, roi de Saba' et de 
dhu-Raydan. 

Le corps expeditionnaire, qui reunit la tribu de 
Saba' {s*'b n S'b'), une partie de 1'armee royale (d-bn 
hms 1 ") et les auxiliaires bedouins ("rb"; 11. 10-11), 
compte 800 chameliers sabeens, 600 chameliers 
fournis par diverses tribus (Humlan, Khawlan, les 
Nashqites, les Arabes et Kiddat) et 60 cavaliers 
(11. 11-14) 16 . II fait de l'eau a 'Abran (aujourd'hui 
al-'Abr), a 90 km au nord de Shabwa, puis lance un 



11 bnn-blt-hw mr'-bw . . . l-rsd w-ttbn zbd Kdt brtn zbdw 
Hdrmt w-twtb-hmw b-'rk, 11. 4-8. 

14 La localisation d'Arak, nom d'un village et d'un affluent du 
wadl Dhana a 20 km au sud-ouest de Marib - carte du 
Yemen-Nord au 1/500000* dans: A. de Maigret (ed.), The 
Sabaean Archaeological Complex in the WadT Yala (Eastern 
rjlawlan at-Tiyal, Yemen Arab Republic): A Preliminary 
Report (1988) fig. 30 -, ne repond pas aux donnees topogra- 
phiques des deux attestations; il en est de meme du wadl 
Rak au pied du jabal al-Lawdh (carte au 100000°, 1645C). 

15 C'est 1'hypothese retenue par la carte Ch. Robin - U. Brun- 
ner, Map of Ancient Yemen - Carte du Yemen antique, 
1:1000000 (1997) I 5. 

» Lire: b-tmn m ,l2 n m 'i'd™ rW bn s'V S'b' w-b-s't m n, n m 
•s'd m rkb- bn HmF w-^wP «i-' m jY w-(')rb" w-Kdt. 

17 Corriger ainsi le *^r" d'A. F. L. Beeston, Warfare in Ancient 
South Arabia (2 nd -3" i centuries A.D.), Qahtan. Studies in 
Old South Arabian Epigraphy 3 (1976). Dans [a transcrip- 
tion de Sharaf al-DIn, on lit '/r" qui est une erreur d'impri- 
merie pour '^r" (en arabe, lefd' et le qdfnc se distinguent 
que par le nombre de points diacridques places au-dessus de 
la lettre). 



138 



Christian Julien Robin 



longue dans Ja 656: la seconde dedicace a done ete 
redigee un peu plus tard que la premiere. Le chan- 
gement de titulature, qui traduit dans les institu- 
tions l'expansion territoriale himyarite aux depens 
du Hadramawt, intervient entre les deux dedicaces, 
sans aucun doute tres peu de temps apres le retour 
des combat tan ts, 

La participation des dedicants a la guerre qui 
oppose Shammar d'une part, SharahTl et Rab- 
bishams"" 1 d'autre part, semble preceder la cam- 
pagne dans Sarlran, sans qu'on puisse determiner 
de combien de temps. 



Les deux fragments CIH 431+438 evoquent la 
tribu de Saba', que commandent probablement les 
dedicants (1. 1), puis ils enumerent une suite de cites 
du wad! Hadramawt: 'Uqran, Shibam et Sa[y'un]. 
A nouveau, il s'agit tres certainement de la cam- 
pagne decrite par Sharaf al-Din 32: meme liste de 
villes (dans Sharaf al-Din 32: 'Uqran, Shibam, 
Ratghar. 1 "" et Say'un, avec ajout d'un nom), meme 
participants (Saba'), meme regne. La fin du texte 
enumere les souhaits habituels. 



Sharaf al-Din 34 



CIH 431+438+948 (Shammar Yuhar'ish TL) 

Le recollement de CIH 948 avec CIH 43 1+438, qui 
n'a pas encore ete propose, est possible sans etre 
totalement sur. Apparemment, CIH 948 est un 
fragment qui se lit avant CIH 431+438, sans qu'il y 
ait raccord. Les dimensions (qui manquent pour 
CIH 948) ne permettent pas de verifier le bien- 
fonde de cette proposition. Le nombre de symbo- 
les par ligne est de 28 a 30 pour CIH 948/4 (si on 
suppose que le fragment est complet a gauche), et 
de 25 a 27 pour CIH 431+438/9: il y a done une 
petite difference, qui n'interdit pas le recollement, 
mais incite a la prudence. Cependant, la graphie 
des deux textes est identique et les contenus se 
correspondent: mention du lignage ]'n w-Mqr™ 
dans CIH 948/7 et [..J w-Mqr" dans CIH 
431+438/4; meme roi Shammar Yuhar'ish avec la 
titulature longue; evocation d'un conflit avec le 
Hadramawt. 

Dans le fragment CIH 948, on releve le nom de 
Sharahll roi du Had[ramawt] (1. 2) et celui de 
Shammar Yuhar'ish roi de Sabaf, dhu-Raydan, 
Hadramawt et] Yamnat (11. 3-4). Du fait de l'ab- 
sence de contexte, on ne saurait dire avec certitude 
si le Hgr" de la 1. 5 est bien le wadi Higran 
(aujourd'hui al-Hijr), dans la region de Nisab". Si 
e'etait bien le cas, la mention d'operations himyari- 
tes dans cette region pourrait etre en relation avec 
le ralliement des Yaz'anides a Himyar (voir ci-des- 
sous, le commentaire de 'Abadan 1). 

L'auteur de la dedicace appartient au lignage de 
[...]'an et Muqar u,n (J'n w-Mqr", 1. 7), probable- 
ment tres noble si on observe que Muqar 1 "" est l'un 
des Mathamina". De son nom personnel, il ne sub- 
siste que la premiere lettre, S 2 (1. 6). 



Ilighazz Yashu' b. Sha'ran offre deux statuettes a 
Almaqah parce que le dieu s'est montre favorable 
•quand il a fait une expedition a la ville de Shibam 
au Hadramawt, et parce qu'il lui a accorde de reve- 
nir avec des (ennemis) tues, des captifs et du 
butin« 20 . Le roi Shammar Yuhar'ish, dont le dedi- 
cant souhaite la bienveillance, porte deja la titula- 
ture longue. 

L'expedition de Shibam, a laquelle il est fait allu- 
sion, est probablement un episode du raid dans 
Sariran, relate par les inscriptions precedences. 



Le deroulement du conflit et ses consequences 

Apres la defaite et la capture de son roi IlTazz 
Yalut, dans les annees 220, le Hadramawt a sans 
doute perdu ses territoires les plus occidentaux, 
Radman et le wadi Bayhan. Mais il semble avoir 
conserve Markha, Dura' et 'Abadan, ses posses- 
sions au sud du desert de Ramlat al-Sab'atayn. 

Le deroulement de la nouvelle guerre peut etre 
reconstruit en partie. Comme il a deja ete dit, seuls 
les episodes impliquant des Sabeens ou des Arabes 
dans la dependance de Saba' sont connus: les 
auteurs de CIH 431+438+948 et de Ja 656 appar- 
tiennem a deux grands lignages sabeens de Marib, 
les Muqar um et les 'Athkalan; ceux de Sharaf al- 
Din 32 sont des gouverneurs de Saba'. 



11 Robin -Brunner cane cit. I B. 

" Robin 1989. 

10 Voici comment le texte, en partie corrompu, eat donne par 
Abmad Sharaf al-Dln: w-l-jt \)mr 'W-Aoi %x-Ys" b-kn 
s'b ' 'dy hgf S'bm 'rd Hdrmwt vhl-4t ffmr-bv 'tw b-mbtf 
le-s'by w-gnm m . 



HlMYAK AU IV 1 SlECLE DE L'ERE ChRETIENNE 



139 



Manifestement, ces Sabeens ne sont guere enga- 
ges par Shammar Yuhar'ish dans les operations 
menees contre les deux rois du Hadramawt, 
Sharahll et Rabbishams um Qa 656), ou contre 
Sharahll seul (CIH 948). Mais ils sont charges 
d'une importante operation de diversion dans le 
wadi Hadramawt, dont ils pillent les villes de 
'Uqran a Say'un. 

Tres peu de temps apres ce raid, Shammar 
Yuhar'ish adopte la titulature longue, qui ajoute 
»Hadramawt et Yamnat« a »roi de Saba' et de dhu- 
Raydan«: dans une dedicace offerte au retour de ce 
raid (Sharaf al-DIn 32), il porte encore la titulature 
courte, mais dans trois autres un peu plus tardives 
(CIH 431+438+948, Ja 656 et Sharaf al-Din 34), 
l'allongement de la titulature a deja ete opere. 

On peut s'interroger sur l'ampleur de la redistri- 
bution territoriale que le changement de titulature 
implique. II semble certain que Himyar a conquis 
et annexe Shabwat, la capitale du Hadramawt: 
alors que Shammar porte deja la titulature longue, 
des Sabeens sont envoyes en garnison a Shabwat 
(Ja 662) ou participent au grand pelerinage de Sayln 
(Ir Suppl. B 3). II est vraisemblable que tous les ter- 
ritoires hadramawtiques sur le pourtour de Ramlat 
al-Sab'atayn (Markha, Dura', 'Abadan et Jurdan) 
deviennent egalement himyarites; a ce propos, il est 
possible que le terme »Yamnat« ajoute a la titula- 
ture designe les possessions hadramawtiques les 
plus meridionales 21 , notamment Markha, Dura' et 
'Abadan. En revanche, rien n'indique que le wad! 
Hadramawt lui-meme (Sarlran) soit passe sous le 
controle himyarite: les relations du raid sabeen 
evoquent le pillage de cette region, mais non la 
prise de ses villes; par ailleurs, le wadi est le cceur 
de la resistance hadramawtique une trentaine d'an- 
nees plus tard. 

L'embleme qui symbolise le nouvel Etat est pro- 
bablement cree au moment du changement de titu- 
lature. II se compose de trois figures: ce sont, en 
allant de gauche a droite, le monogramme de Sha- 
qir (palais royal hadramawtique a Shabwat), l'em- 
bleme de Himyar (apparerament le monogramme 
stylise du dieu Wagl) et un monogramme incom- 
pris (compose des lettres b,f,het If 1 . II est vrai que 
cet embleme n'est pas atteste sous le regne de 
Shammar Yuhar'ish, mais seulement sous ceux, un 
peu plus tardifs, de Yasir"™ Yu[han'im II], puis de 
[Dhamar'all] Yuhabi[rr en coregence avec son fils 
Thaj'ran Yu[han'im] 23 . 



La date de la conquete du Hadramawt occiden- 
tal peut etre fixee approximativement. Elle pre- 
cede de peu le changement de titulature, qui inter- 
view; entre dhu-qayzan 396 (juillet 286) et dhu- 
madhra'an [40]7him. (juillet 297). En 396 him., 
Shammar Yuhar'ish est encore le coregent de 
son pere Yasir"™ Yuhan'im. En dhu-madhra'an 
[40]7 him., il porte deja la titulature longue. Entre 
ces deux dates, il faut placer la fin de la coregence 
Yasir 11 " 1 - Shammar, le regne de Shammar seul avec 
la titulature courte, la guerre avec le H a 4ramawt et 
le debut du regne de Shammar avec la titulature 
longue. La titulature courte semble avoir ete en 
usage pendant une periode assez longue, qui ne 
devrait pas etre inferieure a la moitie de la duree 
totale du regne de Shammar puisque, sur 3 1 docu- 
ments utilisables, 18 donnent a Shammar la titula- 
ture courte et 13 seulement la titulature longue 2 *. 
On sait que le regne solitaire de Shammar com- 
mence apres 396 him. et qu'il n'est pas acheve en 
42[0] him. Le changement de titulature intervien- 
drait done un peu apres le milieu de la periode 
396-42[0] him., mais de toute facon avant dhu- 
madhra'an [40]7 him. (premiere attestation de la 
titulature longue): il faut done le situer juste 
avant dhu-madhra'an 407 him. Des lors, la con- 
quete du Hadramawt occidental, qui est imme- 
diatement anterieure au changement de titulature, 
peut etre datee de 406 him., soit 296/297 e. chr. 



21 L'un des sens possibles de »Yamnat« est »sud«. 

22 Ce monogramme, qui symbolise probablement Yamnat, est 
peut-etre forme, lui aussi, avec les lettres d'un nom de palais 
(encore inconnu). 

23 Dans le premier document, il ne subsiste que le mono- 
gramme de droite, et dans le second, la figure du centre: 
Robin, Sayhadica op. cit. (v. n. 7) 122-124. 

24 Bien evidemment, ce decompte ne donne qu'un ordre de 
grandeur des durees. Inscriptions dans lesquelles Shammar 
Yuhar'ish apparait avec la titulature courte: CIH 407; CIH 
628=RES 2676 (ou le nom du roi est resume), Irl5, Irl6, 
Irl7, Ja649,Ja650,Ja651;Ja652;Ja 653; Ja654;Ja655; Kit- 
chen PSAS 1995; M. Bayhin5; RES 3910; RES 4230; Sharaf 
al-DIn 32; Sharaf al-Dln35. - Avec la titulature longue: 
CIH 431+438+948; Ir30; Ir Suppl. B3; Ja656; Ja657; 
Ja 658; Ja 660; Ja 661; Ja 662; Sharaf al-DIn 31 ; Sharaf al-DTn 
34; YM1695; YMN13. 

Dans Robin-Rada'l, 1'absence d'epithete et de date ne per- 
met pas d'etablir si ce teste remonte au regne de Shammar 
Yuhahmid ou a celui de Shammar Yuhar'ish. 



140 



Christian Julien Robin 



Faisant suite a l'annexion de Saba' dans les 
annees 270 e. chr., la conquete du Hadramawt tra- 
hit certainement une volonte hegemonique de 
Himyar en Arabie meridionale. Elle n'a pu qu'in- 
quieter les puissances voisines, notamment la Perse 
sassanide qui domine la rive arabique du Golfe 
Arabo-persique. La constitution de la principaute 
vassale d'al-Hira, sur la rive occidentale du Moyen- 
Euphrate, date precisement de cette epoque. Quant 
au raid d'lmru' al-Qays contre Nagran, rapporte 
par l'inscription d'al-Namara 25 , ne serait-il pas une 
tentative sassanide de soutenir le Hadramawt en 
ouvrant un deuxieme front 26 ? Dans cette hypo- 
these, ce raid pourrait etre date des annees qui pre- 
cedent 296 e. chr. La periode se pretait bien a des 
initiatives himyarites. Le roi Bahrain II etait mort 
en 293 et son successeur, Narseh (293-302) etait 
paralyse par une guerre civile dynastique. L'impor- 
tance des relations avec la Perse est confirmee par 
l'envoi d'une ambassade himyarite dans la capitale 
sassanide apres le changement de titulature de 
Shammar, si Ton en croit Sharaf al-DTn 31. 

Les traditions yemenites et arabes considerent 
Shammar Yuhar'ish comme l'un des premiers 
tubba' (rois yemenites dont le pouvoir couvre 
toute 1' Arabie meridionale) et ont fait de lui un 
heros legendaire, auquel sont attribuees des con- 
quetes lointaines et fabuleuses 27 . 



III. La seconde guerre himyarito-hapra- 
mattique sous yasir u " yuhan'lm ii et 
Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr: la conquete du 
Hadramawt oriental 

La seconde guerre met un terme definitif a l'in- 
dependance du Hadramawt, qui est annexe par 
Himyar. Son deroulement montre que les regnes 
de Yasir 1 "" Yuhan'im et de Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr se 
suivent, ce qui rejette Kartell Watar Yuhan'im 
avant Yasir um Yuhan'im II. 

Les documents: CIH 397, Ir 31, Ir 32, Ja 665, 
Schmidt-Ma'rib 28+Ja 668. Ce sont des commemo- 
rations d'offrandes au dieu Almaqah dans le temple 
Awwam de Marib ou dans celui de §irwah (CIH 
397). En dehors de Ja 665, qui date de la premiere 
phase du conflit, tous evoquent le meme raid victo- 
rieux qui semble avoir ete decisif pour la victoire de 
Himyar. 



Ja 665, Ir 32 et CIH 397 

Ja 665 et Ir 32 rapportent de maniere detaillee deux 
campagnes de cette seconde guerre. L'ecart chro- 
nologique entre ces deux campagnes ne doit pas 
etre tres grand puisque les deux textes ont le meme 
auteur, exercant les memes fonctions: »Sa'adta'lab 
Yatlaf b. Gadan um , chef des (tribus) nomades du roi 
de Saba', a savoir Kiddat, Madhhig"™, Harim"", 
Bahil" 1 " et Zaydll, et de toutes les (tribus) nomades 
de Saba', Himyar™, Hadramawt et Yamnaf 2 '. 

Pourtant, les deux inscriptions datent de deux 
regnes different^. La campagne dont Ja 665 rap- 
porte le deroulement est commandee par »leur sei- 
gneur Yasir"™ Yuhan'im et son fils Dhara"amar 
Ayman, rois de Saba', dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt 
et Yamnat« (11. 7-11). Le raid relate par Ir 32 est 
ordonne par »leur seigneur Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr 
roi de Saba', dhu-Raydan, Hadramawt et Yamnat« 
(11. 9-10). II importe done de rechercher si les deux 
campagnes se suivent immediatement, ce qui per- 
mettrait de conclure que Dhamar'ali succede a 
Yisir"™. 



25 Louvre 205, dans Y. Calvei - Ch. Robin, Arabic heumue, 
Arabie deserte. Les antiquites arabiques du Musce du 
Louvre, Notes et documents des Musecs de France 31 
(1997). 

26 Bien que l'inscription ne le precise pas, Imru' al-Qays est 
probablement le deuxieme souverain de la principaute' 
d'al-HIra. 

v A. F. L. Beeston, Hamdini and the Tababi'ah, dans: Y. M. 
Abdallah (ed.), Al-Hamdanl, a Great Yemeni Scholar. Stu- 
dies on the Occasion of His Millenial Anniversary (1986/ 
M07h.) 5-15; C.E.Bosworth (ed.), The History of al- 
Tabarl V. The Sasanids, the Byzantines, the Lakhmids, and 
Yemen, Bibliotheca Persica (1999) I76sq. 

" S"Jt'lb Ytlfbn Cdn m kbr "rb mlk S'b' v-Kdt v-Mdbf 
w-Hrm" w-Bbf w-Zyd'l ur-ltl "rbS'b'w-Hmyr m-Hdrml 
w- Ymnt. Cette titulature ^numere >les (tribus) nomades du 
roi de Saba'< (noter le mot »roi«), une sine de tribus arabes, 
enfin >toutes les (tribus) nomades de Saba', Himyar 11 *, 
Hadramawt et Yamnat* (sans mention du roi). II semblerait 
quelle distingue deux categories de tribus nomades: celles 
qui dependent directement de la couronne et celles qui se 
rattachent 1 l'un des quatre ensembles tribaux constituant le 
royaume. On ne saurait dire si les tribus de Kiddat, Madh- 
big""", Harim 1 "", Bihil"" et Zaydll appartiennent a la pre- 
miere catjgorie ou constituent un ensemble autonome. 
Dans Ir 32/12-13, on releve I'expression »les (tribus) noma- 
des du roi de Saba', 1 savoir Kiddat, Nagran et Suflan* 
(w-"rb mlk S'b' w-Kdt w-Ngr* u/-S'ft m ) , t il est vraisem- 
blable que Nagran et Suflan sont des sous-groupes relevant 
de Madhbig™, Harlm*", Bahil"" ou Zayd'Il. 



HlMYAK AU IV* SlECLE DE L'ERE ChrETIENNE 



141 



On notera que Sa'adta'lab est un Sabeen de 
haut sang: le lignage de Gadan um , auquel il appar- 
tient, est classe par les traditionnistes parmi les 
Mathamina 29 . 

Selon Ja 665, les deux rois Yasir"™ Yuhan'im et 
Dhara"amar Ayman envoient Sa'adta'lab en avant- 
garde de l'armee royale vers le Hadramawt. La 
troupe commandee par Sa'adta'lab se compose de 
deux groupes, des auxiliaires nomades originaires 
de Kiddat et les citoyens de deux cites du Jawf, 
Nashq"" 1 et Nashshan 30 . Quand le corps expedi- 
tionnaire se concentre a 'Abran (auj. al-'Abr, a 
220 km a l'est-nord-est de Marib et a 90 km au nord 
de Shabwa), il compte 750 chameliers et 70 cava- 
liers. On peut supposer que les Kiddites viennent 
des regions situees entre Qaryat al-Faw et le 
Hadramawt, d'ou le choix de 'Abran comme point 
de rencontre. 

Cinq episodes sont rapportes: 

1. Le premier affrontement (11. 16-24) oppose 
l'avant-garde de cette troupe (trente chameliers 
et quatre cavaliers) a une petite formation 
(soixante-dix chameliers) que le roi du Hadra- 
mawt a chargee de capturer un Sabeen. Ce roi, le 
dernier du Hadramawt, n'est pas nomme ici, 
mais on trouve son nom (Anmar um ) a la fin 
d'lr 32. Le heurt se produit a Arak ('rk, 1. 22), 
peut-etre l'actuel Bi'r Hamad, et se conclut par 
le massacre de tous les Hadramawtiques sauf un 
chamelier et trois fantassins. C'est au meme 
endroit que, sous le regne de Shammar Yuhar- 
'ish, des cavaliers himyarites avaient tendu une 
embuscade a des Kiddites portant secours au 
Hadramawt (M. Bayhan 5, ci-dessus). 

2. Ensuite, l'ensemble de la troupe lance un raid 
contre Duhr et Rakhyat, deux wadis immedia- 
tement au sud et au sud-ouest de Bi'r Hamad, et 
y fait du butin (11. 24-27). 

3. Apres cela, la meme troupe combat sous les 
sources de Khurs"" 1 , a 70 km au nord-nord-est 
de Shabwa, non loin d'al-'Abr (11. 27-28). Le 
laconisme de ce passage, qui ne donne aucun 
detail sur les forces engagees ni sur l'issue de la 
bataille suggere que les Himyarites ont ete 
domines ou meme defaits. 

4. Plus tard, le camp himyarite est attaque de nuit 
par l'armee du Hadramawt, qui compte 3 500 
chameliers et 125 cavaliers, commandes par 



Rabl'at fils de Wa'il"™, Dhuhl"" 1 le Wa'ilite et 
Af§a fils de Gumman, capitaine des chameliers 
(11. 31-33) 31 . Les Himyarites tuent 850 hom- 
ines et font 470 prisonniers, notamment Afsa le 
capitaine et Jusham capitaine des cavaliers 32 ; ils 
capturent 45 chevaux et en mettent 30 hors de 
combat; ils s'emparent enfin de 1200 chameaux 
avec leur harnachement (11. 28-39). 

5. Le dernier episode (11. 39-46) n'est pas mieux 
localise que le precedent. Sa'adta'lab est appele a 
l'aide a cause de l'attaque d'un certain Ba's"™ 
(BV™). Avec 35 cavaliers, il remporte un succes 
total, se saisit du campement et des chameaux; 
seul Ba's"" 1 , un cheval et une chamelle lui echap- 
pent. 

Dans les souhaits finaux, 1'auteur indique incidem- 

ment qu'il n'a perdu qu'un seul homme. 

Le texte est complet. La guerre qu'il decrit se 

deroule dans le desert entre Marib et Shabwat. 

L'issue du conflit est encore incertaine quand 

Sa'adta'lab revient a Marib et dedie son offrande 

dans le temple Awwam. 

Ir 32 a le meme auteur, Sa'adta'lab. Ce general 
sabeen est en garnison avec sa troupe d'Arabes a 
Nashq"" 1 , dans le Jawf, pour assurer une protection 
contre le Hadramawt, quand le roi Dhamar'ali 
Yuhabirr lui ordonne de partir en campagne. La 
troupe qu'il commande se concentre au temple de 
dhu-<Ya>ghru, a 80 km au nord-est de Nashq"" 1 ; 
elle se compose de 300 Sabeens de Marib, de 
300 auxiliaires nomades de Kiddat, de Nagran et 



" Robin 1989 opcit. (v. n. 19). Sa'adta'lab, bien que Sabeen, 
porte un nom compose avec le dieu d'une autre tribu, a 
savoir Ta'lab dieu de Sam'I. C'est inhabituel. Une explica- 
tion pourrait etre que la mere de Sa'adta'lab etait originaire 
de Sam'I; une autre possibilite serait que Sa'adta'lab 
etait lui-meme Sam'iyote et qu'il avait recu en apanage, 
pour services rendus au souverain, les biens du lignage Ga- 
dan"™. 

30 LI. 12-14, w-tmhrt-hw "rb mlk S'b' w-Kdt w-Vl Nity" 
w-Ns 1 ". Cependant, aux 11.20-21, il est indique que le roi 
du Hadramawt cherche a capturer un prisonnier »dans le 
contingent des Deux villes et de Marib* (bn ms'b' hgmhn 
w-Mrb). Cette indication suggere que la troupe comptait 
egalement des combattants originaires de Marib. Ce pour- 
rait etre tout simplement les parents et les proches qui 
accompagnaient Sa'adta'lab. 

11 Rb't bn WT w-Dhl m Wly w-'fsy bn Gmn nhl rkb". 

" GPm nhl '/«'". 



142 



Christian Julien Robin 



du Jawf 33 , et de 70 cavaliers (dont 20 amenes de 

Nashq™)- 

Sans donner d'infonnation sur la situation mili- 
taire generate, Sa'adta'lab rapporte qu'il lance un 
raid contre Sawa'ran, la ville qui defend l'entree du 
wad! Hadramawt, a 150 km a Test nord-est de 
Shabwa. Apres une tentative de resistance, la ville 
capitule. 

Ensuite la troupe, renforcee par des hommes de 
Sawa'ran, se dirige contre Shibam et Sadifan; la 
bataille qui a lieu aux portes de Shibam fait 70 
moils chez Fennemi, qui se replie dans la ville, mais 
capitule apres un siege de 13 jours. 

Le raid se poursuit avec la prise de Ratghat" 1 ", 
Say'un, Maryamat"™ et Hidb. II atteint 'Urr Ahlan 
et Tarlm, assiege cette ville, coupe deux mille 
arbres 34 , et obtient la capitulation apres un siege de 
12 jours. 

II se termine avec des operations contre 
Dammun, Mashtat et 'Urr Kulayb"™, qui capitule. 

Lors du retour dans la capitate, Zafar, le bilan 
est impressionnant, avec 1300 ennemis tues, 100 
(guerriers) prisonniers et 3000 captifs. Sa'adta'lab 
ramene ainsi »Anmar um que les Hadramawtiques 
avaient fait roi« (11. 42-43)", Rabl'at fils de Wa'il"™ 
(mentionne comme l'un des commandants d'une 
armee dans Ja 665/31-32), Afsa fils de Gumman et 
Gusham fils de Malik"" 1 (captures lors des opera- 
tions rapportees dans Ja 665: voir 11. 35-36), plus 
cinq autres personnages, tous Sadifites, auxquels 
s'ajoutent deux Saybanites et quatre [. . .]. 

L'inscription CIH 397 complete la description 
des effectifs participant au raid de Sa'adta'lab. Ses 
auteurs, des habitants de Sirwah clients du roi 3 ', 
participent a une expedition militaire dans 
le Sarlran, sous la direction de Sa'adta'lab dhu- 
Gadan um , »avec la tribu de Saba' et les Arabes* 
(11. 7-8)". Eux-memes se rangent certainement 
parmi les »Arabes« puisque, comme clients du roi, 
ils n'appartiennent pas a une tribu sudarabique 31 . 

Plusieurs indices donnent a penser que Ja 665 et 
Ir 32 se rapportent bien a deux episodes successifs 
d'une meme guerre 39 . Dans les deux inscriptions, 
Sa'adta'lab b. Gadan um porte exactement le meme 
litre tres detaille. Ja 665 mentionne trois chefs 
hadramawtiques, Rabl'at, Afsa et Gusham, et sou- 
ligne que les deux derniers ont ete captures; or, 
Ir 32 rapporte que ces trois chefs sont amenes a 
Zafar, avec d'autres prisonniers de marque. On 



peut supposer que ce transport des prisonniers 
dans la capitale se fait des que possible, et qu'il 
n'est pas posterieur a leur capture de plus de quel- 
ques annees w . II apparait par ailleurs peu vraisem- 
blable que Afsa et Gusham ait ete liberes par les 
Himyarites, puis captures une seconde fois. On 
ajoutera que la troupe commandee par Sa'adta'lab 
lors des deux campagnes ne varie guere: selon Ja 
665, elle compte 750 chameliers et 70 cavaliers, 
originaires de la tribu arabe de Kiddat d'une part, 
des villes sabeennes de Nashq 01 " et de Nashshan 
d'autre part; d'apres Ir 32, elle se compose de 
300 Sabeens de Marib, de 300 Arabes de Kiddat, de 
Nagran et de Suflan (= le Jawf?), et de 70 cavaliers 
(dont 20 qui etaient en garnison a Nashq u,n ). 

Le changement de regne entre Ja 665 et Ir 32 
peut s'imerpreter de multiples facons. Cependant, 
le laconisme avec lequel Ja 665/27-28 evoque la 
bataille de Khurs u ™ amene a se demander si les 
Himyarites n'ont pas subi une defaite, dans la- 
quelle les rois Yasir 1 "" Yuhan'im et Dhara"amar 
Ayman - qui participaient effectivement a la cam- 
pagne (voir U. 9-11) - auraient ete tues. 



11 Pour Beeston, S'fF" designe les Buses TerTes du Yemen in- 
terieur (lowland). II se pourrait que ce soil plus precisement 
le Jawf. Al-Hamdini mentionne d'ailleun un petit terToir 
appele al-Sufl dans le Jawf superieur: D.H. Miller. 
Al-Hamdani's Geographie der arabischen Halbinsel 1. II 
(1884-91, reprise par le meme ed. 1968) 110/6. - La ratine 
S'FL est trop commune pour que: c'est ce qui nous amene a 
reconnalcre dans S'fP le nom antique du Jawf. 

M C'est ainsi que j'entends "md; le DS hesite entre •echalas; 
pied de vigne- et >champ irriguj«. 

M 'nmi* rf-hmlkw Hdrmv/t, interpretation presentee par 
S. Frantsouzoff en juln 2001 a Paris. La formulaoon souligne 
la legitimit^ douteuse de ce souverain aux ycux du pouvoir 
himyarite. 11 n'est pas possible de dire si le rjadramawt a eu 
une serie ininterrompue de souverains jusqu' a ce regne ou 
si Anmar ura est devenu roi a Toccasion de la revoke de terri- 
loires doming par r^imyar. 

" riW 'dm mtk\ 

" b--m,''b"S'b-w'rb". 

11 lis se discnt >$irw2bites«, mais ici la nisb* renvoie probable* 
merit a l'origine geographique et non a Torigine tribale. 

" C'jtait deja I'opinion de J. Ryckmans, avant meme la publi- 
cation definitive de lr 32: voir J. Ryckmans, Nouvelle inter- 
pretation d'un texte sabeen, BiOr 25 (1968) 5-8. 

40 II n'y avail sans doute qu'une seule campagne chaque annec: 
les hommes des tribus, qui sont des agricultcurs, ne pou- 
vaient s'absenter que durant les penodes d'inactivite, a 
aavoir quand il n'y a rien a planter ou a recolter. La pcriode 
la plus propice pour les campagnes militaires est I'hiv^r 



HlMYAR AU IV* SlECLE DE L'eRE ChreTTENNE 



143 



Ir31 

Une autre inscription, Ir 31, se rapporte certaine- 
ment aux memes evenements. 

Le gouverneur de la tribu de Saba', Laffa'athat 
Yashu' b. Mirhab"" 1 , se felicite d'avoir participe 
avec la tribu de Saba' a une campagne particuliere- 
ment fructueuse au Hadramawt, sur l'ordre du roi 
Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr. Cette campagne le conduit 
a Sawa'ran, 'Uqran, Shabwat, Ratghat" 1 ", Marya- 
mat um et Tarim. II s'agit manifestement des opera- 
tions que Sa'adta'lab decrit dans Ir 32. On peut en 
conclure que Laffa'athat est le chef des 300 Sabeens 
qui se joignent a la troupe de Sa'adta'lab. 11 est inte- 
ressant de noter que, dans sa dedicace, Laffa'athat 
ne mentionne pas Sa'adta'lab, mais seulement le 
roi: comme chef sabeen, il ne doit pas allegeance a 
un autre Sabeen, mais seulement au souverain. 

Laffa'athat fait deux ajouts interessants a la Uste 
des villes mentionnees par Sa'adta'lab, a savoir 
'Uqran et Shabwat. Si, avec ses hommes, il conduit 
des operations contre ces deux villes, il en resulte 
que Shabwat a ete reoccupee - ou tout au moins 
menacee - par les rebelles. On notera cependant 
que, parmi tous les textes qui se rapportent a 
cette guerre, Ir 31 est le seul a mentionner l'an- 
cienne capitale du Hadramawt; par ailleurs, aucun 
fait d'arme n'est evoque a son propos. Le con- 
trole de Shabwat n'a done pas ete longuement dis- 
pute. 



Schmidt-Ma'rib 28+Ja 668 

Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 est la partie mediane d'une in- 
scription et Ja 668 en est la fin. Les deux documents 
datent du meme regne et rapportent les memes eve- 
nements; ils comptent approximativement le meme 
nombre de lettres par ligne 41 ; enfin, ils presentent la 
meme graphie. Comme l'a suggere Serge Frant- 
souzoff dans une conference a Paris en juin 2001, il 
est vraisemblable qu'il s'agit de deux fragments 
d'une meme stele. , 

Le debut, avec l'identite des auteurs et la nature de 
l'offrande, manque. Le premier fragment (Schmidt- 
Ma'rib 28) commence avec [l'ordre] que donnent 
Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr et son fils Tha'ran Yuhan'im 
de partir en guerre contre Sadifan et une partie du 
Hadramawt. 



La troupe, qui compte 300 chameliers, soumet 
Sawa'ran, puis 'Uqran, qui s'engage a accorder son 
aide aux rois de Saba' et de dhu-Raydan (noter ici 
la titulature courte). Elle attaque alors Shibam et 
affronte Sadifan et les citoyens de Shibam, a savoir 
2000 hommes et trois cavaliers. Les pertes de 
l'ennemi se moment a 200 blesses et a 100 tues. Le 
fragment s'interrompt ici. 

Ce recit s'accorde assez bien avec Ir 31 et 32. Par 
rapport a Ir 32, dont l'auteur est le chef du corps 
expeditionnaire, on notera un ajout (les operations 
contre 'Uqran) et une difference (le ralliement de 
'Uqran, alors que dans Ir 32, il n'est question que 
de celui de Sawa'ran). Par rapport a Ir 31, dont 
l'auteur est le chef du contingent sabeen, la corres- 
pondance est parfaite, tenu compte du fait que 
Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 est lacunaire. 

Concernant les effectifs mentionnes, l'identite 
est presque parfaite. Dans Ir 32, les Sabeens sont 
au nombre de 300, tout comme la troupe des as- 
saillants dans Schmidt-Ma'rib 28. Quant aux pertes 
du Hadramawt lors de la conquete de Shibam, ils se 
montent a 70 selon Ir 32 (apres la bataille, mais 
avant le siege et la prise de la ville), et a 100 au total 
selon Schmidt-Ma'rib 28. 

Le second fragment (Ja 668), qui donne la fin du 
texte, revele que l'inscription a ete redigee par la 
tribu Saba' Kahlan (11. 7-8, 10, 12). Dans les cinq 
premieres lignes, tres fragmentaires, on reconnait 
le nom de Shibam (1. 1) et la mention des rois 
(11. 3-5). La fin comporte les louanges adressees au 
dieu Almaqah - qui a protege ses fideles et leur a 
accorde »tues, prisonniers et captifs en grand nom- 
bre . . . dans toutes les villes de Sariran* (11. 8-11) - 
et les souhaits habituels. 

A nouveau, nous avons avec Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 + 
Ja 668 une allusion au raid commande par Sa'ad- 
ta'lab Yatlaf. Le fait que, dans Ir 31 et 32, les 
auteurs mentionnent un seul roi (Dhamar'ali Yu- 
habirr), mais que dans Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 + Ja 668, 
ils donnent a ce roi un coregent, s'explique aise- 
ment: la dedicace de Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 + Ja 668 est 
legerement posterieure a celle d'lr 31 et 32. On 



41 Les dimensions de Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 ne sont pas donnecs 
par l'editeur, de sorte qu'il n'est pas possible de s'assurer 
que les deux fragments ont la meme largeur. 



144 



Christian Julien Robin 



peut en deduire que Dhamar'all Yuhabirr, qui a 
accede au trone pendant le conflit (peut-etre a la 
suite de la defaite et de la disparition de Yasir um 
Yuhan'imll), associe au trone son fils Tha'ran 
Yuhan'im, tres peu de temps apres la victoire. 

Ces cinq documents sont les derniers qui fassent 
mention d'une resistance du Hadramawt a l'hege- 
monie himyarite. On peut done supposer que les 
victoires de Sa'adta'lab, et sans doute les succes 
d'autres generaux, qui aboutissent a la capture du 
roi Anmar"", ont ete decisives. Desormais, tout le 
Hadramawt est soumis. Une confirmation est 
apportee par l'inscription de 'Abadan: sous la con- 
duite du roi Tha'ran Yu(ha)n'im, des operations 
militaires sont lancees par les Yaz'anides contre les 
tribus arabes au nord du Yemen, notamment con- 
tre Asdan. Comme nous le verrons, les premieres 
de ces campagnes peuvent etre datees vers 440 him. 
(330 e. chr.) EUes seraient impossibles si la guerre 
faisait rage au Hadramawt. 



Le deroulement du conflit 

Le Hadramawt, a cette epoque, se limite probable- 
ment a la partie orientale de l'ancien royaume: 
les operations militaires visent les wadTs Duhr et 
Rakhyat, et les villcs de Sariran, entre Sawa'ran et 
Tarim; par ailleurs, les prisonniers mentionnes 
dans Ir 32 sont originaires de Sadifan et de Sayban, 
tribus etablies dans le wadi Hadramawt et dans les 
regions qui s'etendent entre celui-ci et la mer. 
Shabwat, l'ancienne capitale, ne semble pas avoir 
ete durablement echappe au controle de Himyar. 
Cependant, bien qu'ampute de ses possessions 
occidentales, le Hadramawt est encore menacant: 
d'apres Ir 32/7, Sa'adta'lab est en garnison a 
Nashq um a cause de lui. 

Le deroulement des operations peut etre recons- 
truit, pour une pan de maniere assuree, pour une 
autre de maniere hypothetique. Sous la coregence 
de Yasir"" 1 Yuhan'im II et de son fils Dhara"amar 
Ayman, le conflit avec le Hadramawt renait. Le 
litige porte principalement sur la possession de 
Shabwat. AnmaV"", le roi du Hadramawt, a le 
soutien des tribus de §adifan et de Sayban, qui 
controlent le wad! Hadramawt et les territoires 
entre le wadi et la mer. 



La guerre se deroule d'abord dans le desert entre 
Marib et Shabwat. Malgre la reussite de quelques 
operations de diversion a l'entree du wadi Hadra- 
mawt, commandees par le Sabeen Sa'adta'lab Yatlaf 
et sa petite troupe (750 chameliers et 70 cavaliers, 
fournis par la tribu arabe de Kiddat et par les cites 
sabeennes de Nashq" 1 " et Nashshan), il semblerait 
que Himyar soit defait et ses rois tues. La guerre 
reprend apres l'accession au trone de Dhamar'all 
Yuhabirr. Alors que le conflit se poursuit dans le 
desert, le mime Sa'adta'lab Yatlaf reussit un raid 
audacieux. II concentre dans un lieu discret, ie 
temple de Yaghrii, qui se trouve dans un wadi 
encaisse a quelques dizaines de kilometres au nord 
du Jawf, une troupe regroupant 300 Sabeens de 
Marib, 300 Arabes (de Kiddat, Nagran et Suflan) et 
70 cavaliers. Cette troupe, qui echappe a la vigi- 
lance de l'armee du Hadramawt, en passant par le 
desert au nord d'al-'Abr, fond a Pimproviste sur 
Sawa'ran, qui defend l'entree du wadi Hadramawt, 
et parvient a s'en emparer. EUe convainc les ci- 
toyens de Sawa'ran de faire defection, puis ceuz 
de 'Uqran, et prend successivement toutes les villes 
importantes du wadi, d'autant plus aisement que 
les meilleurs guerriers de Sariran sont absents, en 
campagne avec le roi du Hadramawt. EUe ramene a 
Zafar plusieurs captifs prestigieux, notamment 
Anmar 1 "", que les Hadramawtiques avaient fait 
roi 42 , et des chefs des tribus de Sadifan et Sayban. 

Ce raid extraordinaire assure la gloire de ceux 
qui y ont participe. Son chef, Sa'adta'lab Yatlaf, 
fait une dedicace au temple de Marib, accompagnee 
d'une longue inscription dans laquelle il relate en 
detail ses exploits (Ir 32). Le chef du contingent 
sabeen, Laffa'athat Yashu' b. Mirhab"™, fait de 
meme (Ir 31), bientot imite par la tribu Saba' 
Kahlan (Schmidt-Ma'rib 28 + Ja 668). De leur cote, 
des Arabes de §irwah font egalement une dedicace 
dans le temple de §irwah (CIH 397). Grace aux 
petites differences que presentent ces recits, on 
apprend que les Sabeens ont mene quelques 
operations de fa;on autonome, notamment contre 
'Uqran, situee un peu a l'ecan du wadi Hadra- 
mawt, et contre Shabwat. 



" Si Sa'adu'lib avail upiur< lui-meme Anmar™ 1 , il ne man- 
querait pai de s'en glorifier. I] faut done supposer que le roi 
a ili fait prisonnier par une autre arm£e, dans des circons- 
tances que nous ignorons, probablement apres le succes du 
raid de Sa'adu'lab. 



HlMYAR AU IV SlECLE DE L'eRE ChHETIENNE 



145 



Ces evenements sont ignores des traditions arabes 
d'epoque islamique. Seul le nom du roi Yasir™ 
Yuhan'im survit dans un fragment poetique que 
cite al-Hamdani: 

Wa-ana Abu Karib wa-'amml Yasir 
dhii l-taj Yun'im wa-bmt-hu Taran 
»Je suis Abu Karib et mon oncle est Yasir 
le Couronne Yun'im, et son fils Taran 43 . 
L'identification repose sur le fait que ce Yasir est 
un roi et qu'il a un fils nomme Taran (= Tha'ran). 
Quant a Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr, seul un nom 
identique au sien subsiste dans les genealogies, sous 
la forme Yuhbir dhu 1-Mar'all 44 . Rien ne permet 
d'identifier ce Yuhbir avec le souverain du rv" s.: il 
n'est pas roi et son fils s'appelle Makhmir. 



IV. Les donnees chronologiques de 
'Abadan i 

L'inscription 'Abadan 1, exceptionnelle par sa lon- 
gueur et son contenu, narre en detail la saga d'un 
noble hadramawtique, Malshan Aryam, du lignage 
de Yaz'an, et de ses descendants: ses fils Khawliy"" 1 
Yazld, Shurihbi'Il A[. . .], Ma'dTkarib [. . .] et Mar- 
thad"™ Am[. . .], et ses petits-fils BarlT"" Yamgid, 
Khawliy™ Yazld et Shurihbi'Il A[. . .] fils de Ma'dl- 
karib. Apres un bref recapitulatif, le redacteur or- 
ganise sa relation en deux parties. Dans la premiere 
(11. 4-32), il rapporte dans l'ordre chronologique 
une serie d'expeditions militaires dans la chaine 
montagneuse qui borde la mer Rouge {S'hrtf), en 
Oman et en Arabie centrale. Dans la seconde partie 
(11. 32-40), il enumere les operations immobilieres 
et les amenagements agricoles realises pendant la 
meme periode, l'achat de cinq vaisseaux de mer et 
l'execution d'une suite de chasses prestigieuses. Le 
document se termine avec un bilan des ennemis 
tues par les descendants de Malshan: 

- Fils: 11 pour le qayl Khawliy™; 10 pour Shu- 
rihbi'Il; 9 pour Ma'dlkarib; 10 pour Marthad ura ; 

- Petit-fils: 3 pour Barll"™, 

suivi par les invocations rituelles et la date. Dans ce 
bilan, seuls apparaissent les quatre fils de Malshan 
et un seul de ses trois petits-fils. Malshan lui-meme 
n'est pas cite. Il convient de noter egalement que 
seul Khawliy" 1 " est pare du titre de qayl. 

Les expeditions militaires ne sont pas rapportees 
pour elles-memes, mais comme preuves des apti- 



tudes militaires des descendants de Malshan. Le re- 
dacteur ponctue son recit avec Pindication que tel 
ou tel descendant »participe au combat pour la pre- 
miere fois« (tbkr) ou au contraire est libere de ses 
obligations (btqf). 

1. Premier episode (11. 4-5): campagne de Malshan 
avec, pour la premiere fois, la participation de 
Khawliy um , puis campagnes de Khawliy 1 "" seul; 
l'une de ces dernieres est dirigee par le roi 
Tha'ran Yun'im. 

2. Deuxieme episode (11. 5-10): campagne de 
Khawliy 1 "" avec, pour la premiere fois, la parti- 
cipation de son frere Shurihbi'Il; puis campagne 
de Malshan avec ses deux aines, Khawliy um et 
Shurihbi'Il. 

3. Troisieme episode (11. 10-12): campagne de 
Malshan, Khawliy"™ et ShurihbiTl avec, pour la 
premiere fois, la participation de Ma'dlkarib. 
C'est la derniere campagne a laquelle concourt 
Malshan. 

4. Quatrieme episode (11. 12-26): campagne de 
Khawliy"" 1 , Shurihbi'Il et Ma'dlkarib avec, pour 
la premiere fois, la participation de leur frere 
Marthad"" 1 . D'autres campagnes suivent, no- 
tamment l'une sous le commandement du roi 
Tha'ran Yun'im, et une autre avec le roi Tha'ran 
Ayfa'. 

5. Cinquieme episode (11. 26-27): campagne de 
Shurihbi'Il et Ma'dlkarib, sous la direction du 
roi Dhamar'ali Ayfa', »apres que leur frere 
Khawliy"™ eut ete libere de ses obligations*. 

6. Sixieme episode (11. 27-32): campagne de 
Ma'dlkarib et de Marthad"™, apres que leur frere 
Shurihbill eut ete libere de ses obligations, avec, 
pour la premiere fois, la participation de Barll"™ 
(fils de Ma'dlkarib). 



13 Ch. Toll (ed.), al-Hamdani, Kitab al-Crauharatain al-'atiqain 
al-ma'i'atain as-safra' wa'l-baida', Die beiden Edelmecalle 
Gold und Silber, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia 
Semitica Upsahensia I (1968) 74, traduction, et 75, texte 
arabe. 

44 Voir Al-Hamdani, Kitab al-Iktil, al-juz' al-tinl, li-Lisan 
al-Yaman Abi Muhammad al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. Ya'qub 
al-Hamdani, haqqaqa-hu wa-'allaqa hawasT-hi Muhammad 
b. 'All 1-Akwa' al-HiwalT (al-Maktaba al-yamamyya, 3), 
al-Qabira (al-Sunna al-muhammadiyya) (1967) 97/3 et 
100/9; O. Lofgren (ed.), al-HamdanT siidarabisches Musta- 
bih. Verzeichnis homonymer und homographer Eigen- 
namen, Bibliotheca Ekmaniana Universitatis Regiae Upsa- 
liensis 57 (1953) n° 462 n 438. 



146 



Christian Julien Robin 



La seconde partie, qui a pour fonction d'affirmer 
des droits sur des biens et des territoires, men- 
tionne un evenement notable: la reconstruction de 
la ville de 'Abadan, detruite par le Hadramawt 
(1. 32). 

L'inscription est datee de dhu-madhra'an 470, 
soit juillet 360. 

Les donnees chronologiques indirectes sont nom- 
breuses, mais dependent de l'age qu'il faut avoir 
pour participer a des operations militaires et de 
celui qui libere de tout service. II est vraisemblable 
qu'un jeunc noble ne part pas en campagne avant 
d'avoir atteint 18 ans, a un ou deux ans pres. 

L'age de la reforme peut egalement etre evalue 
approximativement. Malshan cesse de participer 
aux campagnes militaires quand son quatrieme fils 
Marthad"™ est admis a combattre pour la premiere 
fois. Si on suppose qu'il a eu son premier enfant 
vers 18 ans, il a alors 18 ans (age a la naissance de 
Khawliy" 1 "), plus 18 ans (age de la majorite de 
Khawliy" 1 "), plus le temps necessaire pour avoir 
quatre fils (au moins cinq ans), soit plus de 41 ans. 
Nous retenons le nombre de 45 ans. 

Au moment ou l'inscription est redigee, BarTl um , 
fils de Ma'dikarib, aurait done plus de 18 ans, 
Khawliy"" et Shurihbi'il plus de 45 ans, et Malshan 
plus de 63 ans. 

Entre la premiere participation au combat de 
Khawliy" 1 " (episode n° 1) et la date de redaction de 
l'inscription (470 him.), il a passe au moins 30 ans 
(27 ans d'activites militaires de Khawliy"" 1 , plus la 
difference d'age entre Khawliy" 1 " et Shurihbill). 
Les campagnes militaires rapportees s'etalent done 
entre 440 (ou un peu plus tot) et 470 him. 

Le roi Tha'ran Yun'im est mentionne dans les 
episodes n° 1 (vers 440) et 4 (entre la premiere cam- 
pagne de Marthad"™, quatrieme fils de Malshan, et 
la retraite de Khawliy"" 1 , soit 450-465 environ). 

Les rois Tha'ran Ayfa' et Dhamar'alT Ayfa' diri- 
gent des campagnes dans les episodes 4 (vers 
450-465) et 5 (retraite de Khawliy"" 1 , vers 467), 
probablement parce que le roi Tha'ran Yun'im 
commence a prendre de l'age. 

Enfin, la devastation de la ville de 'Abadan par le 
Hadramawt (1. 32) date probablement de la se- 
conde guerre entre Himyar et le Hadramawt, sous 
les regnes de Yasir"" 1 Yuhan'im II et de Dhamar'ali 
Yuhabirr. En effet, la reconstruction de la ville est 
mentionnee en tete des operations immobilizes 



realisees par Malshan, au debut de sa carriere. On 

peut en deduire que les Yaz'anides (qui, au m e s. e. 

chr. relevaient du Hadramawt), ont choisi le camp 

himyarite lors de cette seconde guerre. 

Les donnees chronologiques les plus importan- 

tes seraient ainsi: 

Avant 440 Destruction de la ville de 

'Abadan par le Hadramawt 

Vers 440 au plus tard Khawliy"™ fils de Malshan 
guerroie avec le roi Tha'ran 
Yu(ha)n'im 
Reconstruction de 'Abadan 

Vers 450-465 [. . .] et Marthad™, fils de 

Malshan, guerroient avec le 
roi Tha'ran Yu(ha)n'im 
Les fils de Malshan guer- 
roient avec le roi Tha'ran 
Ayfa' 

Peu avant 470 Shurihbill et Ma'dikarib, 

fils de Malshan, guerroient 
avec le roi Dhamar'ali Ayfa' 

La duree du regne de Tha'ran est assez longue. 
II regne seul (semble-t-il) en 434 him., date qui 
s'accorde bien avec la chronologie de 'Abadan 1. 
II ne participe plus aux operations militaires rap- 
portees par 'Abadan 1, a partir de 460 environ, sans 
doute parce son age le lui interdit desormais. L'as- 
sociation de son fils Malklkarib Yuha'min au trone 
est probablement posterieure a 470, puisque ce fils 
n'est pas mentionne dans 'Abadan 1. 

Malklkarib ne semble pas avoir regne seul: dans 
toutes ses inscriptions, ses deux fils Abikarib As'ad 
et Dhara"amar Ayman sont associes au trone. On 
peut en deduire que Malklkarib Yuha'min a deja un 
age avance quand il succede a son pere puisqu'il doit 
faire immediatement appel a des coregents - proba- 
blement pour conduire les operations guerrieres. II 
aurait done plus de 45 ans quand il devient roi. 

Les rois Tha'ran Ayfa' et Dhamar'alT Ayfa' qui 
dirigent des operations militaires dans les annees 
460, d'apres 'Abadan 1, sont probablement des 
parents, neveu ou fils, du roi Tha'ran Yuhan'im, 
qui n'ont jamais ili formellement associes au 
trone, mais portent le titre de roi. La pratique est la 
meme que pour les qayls: tous les males adultes de 
la famille portent le titre, mais un seul (en general) 
exerce la fonction. 

Malgre la duree de son regne, Tha'ran Yuhan'im 
fils de Dhamar'alT Yuhabirr n'a pas marque les 



HlMYAR AU IV SlBCLE DE L'ERE ChKETIENNE 



147 



memoires. Les traditions arabes l'ignorent presque 
totalement: on ne trouve qu'une seule mention de 
lui (ou d'un homonyme), sous la forme Taran 
Yun'im, dans la genealogie d'un lignage noble de 
Himyar* 5 ; noter, a ce propos, que Yuhbir dhu 
1-Mar'ali (= Dhamar'all Yuhabirr) est mentionne 
dans la genealogie du meme lignage, mais a un de- 
gre eloigne de parente. Le regne de Tha'ran fut sans 
dome trop paisible, sans guerres et sans drames, 
pour qu'on s'en souvienne. 



V. La succession des rois de Himyar au 

rv" s. E. CHR. 

Le deroulement de la seconde guerre entre Himyar 
et le Hadramawt etablit que le regne de Dhamar'all 
Yuhabirr succede immediatement a celui de Yasir"™ 
Yuhan'im en coregence avec son fils Dhara"amar 
Ayman. 

Ce Dhara"amar Ayman est anterieur de 60 ans 
au moins a la premiere mention datee de Dha- 
ra"amar Ayman, fils de Malklkarib Yuha'min: les 
deux personnages doivent done etre distingues. 

Le Yasir"™ Yuhan'im qui regne en coregence avec 
Tha'ran Ayfa' et avec son fils Dhara"amar Ayman 
peut-il etre identifie avec le Yasir™ Yuhan'im pere 
de Shammar Yuhar'ish? La premiere mention du 
second se trouve dans Mi'sal 5, qui date de 198 
radm. (272-273 e. chr.); le second regne apres 420 
him. (310-311 e. chr.) L'ecart chronologique n'est 
pas favorable a l'identification. Par ailleurs il fau- 
drait supposer une sequence compliquee de succes- 
sions: Yasir" 1 " Yuhan'im en coregence avec son fils 
Shammar Yuhar'ish; regne de Shammar Yuhar'ish 
seul; retour sur le trone de Yasir"" 1 Yuhan'im, qui 
aurait ete ecarte pendant plus de 13 ans (au moins 
de [40]7 a 42[0] him.), en coregence avec Tha'ran 
Ayfa', puis avec Dhara"amar Ayman. Si nous rete- 
nons la solution la plus simple (regie qui est appli- 
quee ici de maniere reguliere), il convient certaine- 
ment de distinguer ces deux souverains. 

Qui sont les souverains, de Garb Framm. Ep. Sab. 
6, »[XXX Yu]han'im et de son fils [XXX Ajyfa' 
rois[. . .« ? La longueur de la lacune au debut n'ex- 
cede pas quattre ou cinq lettres. L'epithete Yuhan'im 
est portee par Karibll Yuhan'im (forme breve de 
Karibll Watar Yuhan'im, dans Ja 666/13), par les 
deux Yasir"™ Yuhan'im et par Tha'ran Yuhan'im. 
II est difficile de choisir entre ces trois possibility. 



Quant a Ayfa', on peut certainement restituer 
Tha'ran avant lui. 

Tout aussi incertaine est la restitution de Gl 1539, 
»[XXX] et son frere Tha'ran Ayfa' rois[ . . .«. Si nous 
supposons qu'il s'agit du meme Tha'ran Ayfa' dans 
Garb Framm. Ep. Sab. 6 et dans Gl 1539, il reste a 
trouver deux noms, ceux de son pere et de son 
frere, en accord avec la succession des regnes. De 
maniere tres hypothetique, je suggere de resti- 
tuer [Karibll] Yuhan'im pour le pere et [Yasir"™ 
Yuhan'im] pour le frere. La coregence de Yasir"™ 
Yuhan'im et de Tha'ran Ayfa', sans indication du 
rapport de parente, est attestee par Ja 664. 

La chronologie interdit d'identifier ce Tha'ran 
Ayfa', coregent de Yasir"" Yuhan'im avec celui de 
'Abadan 1. Le regne de Yasir"" 1 Yuhan'im semble 
anterieur a 430 him; or, dans 'Abadan 1, Tha'ran 
Ayfa' mene des operations militaires vers 460-465. 

II reste enfin a placer le regne de KaribTl (Watar) 
Yuhan'im. Le seul espace ouvert se situe apres la 
disparition de Shammar Yuhar'ish. 

Le tableau chronologique qui resulte de cette etude 
est donne pp. 150 ff. II presente un desequilibre, 
avec un total de cinq a sept regnes et coregences 
entre Shammar Yuhar'ish et Tha'ran Yuhan'im, 
pendant un laps de temps inferieur a Hans (de 
42[0] a 434 him.), en contraste avec une stabilite 
remarquable auparavant et ensuite. Mais il ne 
semble pas possible de reconstruire une autre se- 
quence des regnes. Une periode de confusion et 
d'instabilite aurait done suivi la disparition de 
Shammar Yuhar'ish; d'ailleurs, l'inscription Ja 667 
ne fait-elle pas allusion a une sedition a Zafar? 

Ce tableau comporte encore une incertitude im- 
portante: la date a laquelle Malklkarib Yuha'min a 
succede a son pere Tha'ran Yuhan'im. De maniere 
quelque peu arbitraire, cette succession a ete situee 
approximativement a mi-duree entre 'Abadan 1 et 
les premieres inscriptions monotheistes, soit vers 
375 e. chr., avec une coregence de Tha'ran et Mal- 
klkarib entre 365 et 375 env. Quoi qu'il en soit, le 
roi Tha'ran Yuhan'im est certainement le souverain 
auquel Constance II (337-361) envoie une ambas- 
sade, sous la direction de Theophile l'lndien, appa- 
remment dans les annees 340 e. chr. (450 him.). 



43 AJ-HamdanI op. cit. 99/9; voir aussi Lofgren op. cit. n° 191. 



148 



Christian Julien Robin 



VI. QUELQUES REMARQUES SUR LA CHRONOLOGIE 

de K. A. Kitchen 



Yhn'm[..., dans NESE 1, 100-101 et fig. 38), qui 
est mentionne sous Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr. 



K.A. Kitchen distingue huit regnes: 

1. Yasir" 1 " Yuhan'im i w , 275-285 environ 

Ajouter aux references: J. Pirenne, Raydan 3, 1980, 
24 et pi. vi c (monogramme /Vr™ [. ] | mono- 
gramme w-d-Rydn [. ). 

Deplacer »Parrinello photo 3« sous Yasir" 1 " Yu- 
han'im II. 

2. Shammar Yuhar'ish, 285-300 env. 

L'inscription CIH 948 n'est pas une inscription 
royale. Corriger »Rayda« en Rada' (Kitchen 2000 
p. 729 B 36); noter que Sharaf al-Din 32 (B 34) 
designe le meme document que Sharaf al-Din 41 
(B 29; le second sigle est propre a A. Jamme); noter 
que Sharaf al-Din 33 est une copie alteree de Ja 656 
(B34). 

Ajouter aux references Gl 1593 (SEG VII 48: . . . 
S 2 mr Yhr's'f. . .); Sharaf al-Din 34 et 35; YM 1695 
(mentionne erronement sous Yasir 1 "" Yuhan'im II). 

Supprimer Ja 2106 et Ja 2223, qui ne component 
pas de nom de roi ou dans lesquels le nom du roi 
est entierement restitue. 

3. Yasir" 1 " Yuhan'im II, 300-310 env. 

Supprimer YM 1695 (qui date du regne de Sham- 
mar Yuhar'ish, TL). 

Ajouter »Parrinello photo 3« (mentionne erro- 
nement sous Yasir" 1 " Yuhan'im i). 

4. Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr II, 310-315 env. 

Supprimer RES 3960 qui date probablement du 
II* s. e. chr. (voir le nom de mois sabeen, d-ns'wr, 
dans la datation, 1. 6). Ajouter Garb Sabaean Frag- 
ments n ° v ([Dmr'ljy symbole Yh[br w-bn] \[y-hw 
TJ'r symbole n Y[hn'm], dans Raydan 1, 1978, 34 
et pi. v). 



6. Malkikarib Yuha'min I, 340-345 env. 

Un seul document, RES 3444 47 est attribue, avec 
hesitation [M. Y I ou II ?], a ce roi. II se compose de 
deux blocs, remployes dans la mosquee de Min- 
kath, dans les environs de Zafar. Sur chacun de ces 
blocs, on reconnait une suite de cinq figures. Le 
premier presente le triple embleme dynastique des 
rois himyarites et deux monogrammes (ceux de 
Mlkkrb et de Yh'mn); le second se compose du 
meme triple embleme et egalement de deux mono- 
grammes (cette fois, ceux de Dr"mr et de 'ymn). Ce 
document se trouve a gauche de RES 3383 
(auteurs: Malkikarib Yuha'min et ses fils, Ablkarib 
As'ad et Dhara"amar Ayman), attribue par Kit- 
chen a Malkikarib Yuha'min II. II est evident que la 
distinction de deux Malkikarib n'a aucun fonde- 
ment. 

Elle a en fait pour unique fonction de rompre la 
sequence genealogique Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr — 
Tha'ran Yuhan'im - Malkikarib Yuha'min - 
Ablkarib As'ad, et de pouvoir introduire Karibll 
Watar Yuhan'im (III) entre les deux Malkikarib. 

7. Karibll Watar Yuhan'im III, 345-360 env. 

Les dates proposees correspondent a la periode 
couverte par 'Abadan 1. Or cette inscription men- 
tionne a deux reprises le roi Tha'ran Yun'im (ainsi 
que deux autres rois, Tha'ran Ayfa' et Dhamar'ali 
Ayfa"), mais non Karibll. Le roi Karibll Watar 
Yuhan'im (III) est necessairement plus ancien (a 
moins qu'il ne s'agisse d'un usurpateur, interrom- 
pant quelque temps le regne de Tha'ran). 

8. (Hass[an) Malkikarib Yu(ha)'min II, 
375-410 env. 

Le nom Hassan n'apparait pas dans les inscrip- 
tions de ce roi; il se trouve seulement dans Ry 509, 



5. Tha'ran III Yuhan'im, 315-340 env. 

Signaler que, dans Ma$na'at Mariya, le roi porte la 
titulature courte. 

Supprimer RES 4716 qui date des rois homony- 
mes du n c s. e. chr. Ajouter Graf 5 ( . . . ]\ bw TY 



44 Pour tes noms propres, I'orthographe adoptie ici n'est pas 

necessairement celle de K.A. Kitchen. 
47 Voir la photographic publiee par G. Garbini, AlON 30, 

1970 pi. ll a. 



HlMYAR AU IV* SlBCLE DE L'EKE ChRETIENNE 149 

dont les auteurs sont Abikarib As'ad et Hassan Adress: 

Yuha'min, son fils et son petit-fils. Dr. Christian Robin, Maison de la Mediterranee, 

La reference a [Sari 4, 378 AD] est enigmati- Avenue Pasteur ), F-13100 Aix-en-Provence, 

que. Robin@univ-aix.fr 



ESSAI DE RECONSTRUCTION DE LA CHRONOLOGIE HIMYARITE DU IV S. E. CHR. 
Date e. chr. Date locale Regne et references principales Evenement 

[265-288] Yasir um Yuhan'im I TC 

Yasir um Yuhan'im I TC 
al-Mi'sal 5 
Yasir"™ Yuhan'im I + fils Shammar Yuhar'ish TC 
CIH 46=G 799 
Gl 1594 
RES 4196 
CIH 448+Hakir 1 



272-273 


198 radm. 


[270-290] 




nov. 275 


385 him. 


279/280 


[3]89 him. 


283±11 


316 madh. 


juin 286 


3% him. 


[288-312] 




[296] 





[296-312] 
juillet 297 



mars 300 
31[0]-31[1] 



[40]7him. 



409 him. 
42[0] him. 



Shammar Yuhar'ish 

Shammar Yuhar'ish TC 



al-Namara=Louvre 205 
Sharaf al-Din 32 
Shammar Yuhar'ish TL 
Av. Busan 4 

CIH 431+438+948, Ja 656 
Sharaf al-DTn 31 
YMN 13=Mi'sal 18 
YM 1695 



Construction de l'enceinte de Hakir 1 " 



Prise de Shabwat 

Adoption de la titulature longue 

Raid de Imru' al-Qays (t 328) contre Nagran 

Raid sabeen dans Sarlran 



Meme raid sabeen dans Sariran 
Ambassade himyarite a Seleucie-Ctesiphon 



[312-316] 



Karib'll (Watar) Yuhan'im TL 

Karibll (Watar) Yuhan'im TL 
Ir28 
Ja666 
Ja667 
[Karib'll Yujban'im + fils [Tha'rin AJyfa' I (Garb FES6) 



Ambassade en Abyssinie 

Epidemic 

Revoke a Zafar 



[316-320] 



Yasir""" Yuhan'im n TL 

Yasir um Yuhan'im n + Tha'ran Ayfa' i TL (Ja 664) 
[Yasir"" Yuhan'im ll] + frere Tha'ran Ayfa' (Gl 1539) 
Yasir"™ Yuhan'im n + fils Dhara"amar Ayman i TL (Ja 665) 



[320-324] 



Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr TL 

Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr TL 

Ir 31, 32 
Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr + fils Tha'ran (Yuhan'im) TL 

Schmidt-Ma'rib 28+Ja 668 

CIH 457; Garb SF V 



Conquete de Sarlran 
Meme conquete de Sarlran 



[324-375] 

324/325 434 him. 

Vers 340-345 

juillet 360 470 him. 



[365-375] 



Tha'ran Yuhan'im TL 

Tha'ran Yuhan'im TC (Masna'at Mariya) 

Tha'ran Yun'im 

Mention du roi Tha'ran Ayfa' n ('Abadan 1) 

Mention du roi Dhamar'ali Ayfa' ('Abadan 1) 
Tha'ran Yuhan'im + fils Malkikarib (Yuha'min) TL 

Ja669 

Ja670 

Ja 671+788 



Ambassade de Theophile l'lndien 



Epidemie a Zafar 

Rupture et reparation de la Digue 



[375-400] 

Janvier 384 493 him. 



Malkikarib Yuha'min TL 

Malkikarib Yuha'min + fils Ablkarib As'ad et Dhara"amar Ayman n TL 

Garb Bayt al-Ashwal 2; RES 3383 l' r " inscriptions royales monotheistes 

Ja 856=Fa 60 Construction d'un mkrb a Marib 



Synchronismes: 

1. Laffa'athat Yashu' b. Mirhab"™, auteur de Ir 30 (roi: Shammar Yuhar'ish TL) et 31 (roi: Dhamar'ali Yuhabirr TL) 

2. Sa'adta'lab Yatlaf b. Gadan um , auteur de Ja 665 (rois: Yasir"" Yuhan'im et son fils Dhara"amar Ayman) et Ir 32 (roi: Dhamar'atl Yuhabirr). 



En caracteres romains, les donnees factuelles; en caracteres italiques, les hypotheses. 



152 Christian Julien Robin 

(Christian Julien Robin) 

.4> '(A. Jamme) r L^ .( o- <JS1 ijAJl jji CiV jU-ll .illi o*h 1-* . . ^ <liji Jbji :l U«I '• jUuj - ^ j« 
. l olJ* JH ifijjtill liLtjkJl JiU i> L)i> cjbj^JI . J* i^Jfili Jij .(K. A. Kitchen) 0^ J 

ijsbll tiljlill j^^aij ( -Uujij iliLljj f+l ,>u j j fl&aJ £*•> Jj«c. i^iji ij L&»* J jV Aji (j^ J ilaJl JjUj 

tilSij ^iuj ;Ui«J Uuj iUu liljsJ Jujj J j SJiiM jjjlj ^ii J ,> ,jyLu J^ii! U&u lijL> 2ljla3 iltijaJ ,> 
. 1 (jlJjc. (jiL yi jjSi« j» US ji»» ii!jU jJL-ai j jj!l ,^j J l^j ^13 ^jB CJ jjiJl j Cj_>»_vi»».j _»** OW uMj*^ 



Nicole Rbring 

THE FAgADE OF MONUMENTAL TOMBS AND TEMPLES 
IN COMPARISON 



In spring 1997 the German Institute of Ar- 
chaeology started the exploration of the Awam 
cemetery that encloses the temple to the south and 
west 1 . 

A small part of the site was excavated by the 
American Foundation for the Study of Man expe- 
dition in 1951 until 1952. Work focussed mainly on 
the exploration of the Awam Temple, as well as on 
the so called mausoleum directly east of the oval 
wall, which is clearly different from the other 
excavated tombs. Its four pillars with capitals sur- 
rounded by limestone walls are arranged in a 
square formation and supported a roof. And the so 
called south tombs about 100 m further south were 
also excavated. They were built either individually 
or in very small blocks, faced with limestone along 
the street sides. The east-west street separates the 
tombs into a northern and a southern row 2 . 

In the first three seasons of the german mission 
40 tombs in two different areas, labelled Area A 
and Area B, were unearthed. During the next two 
seasons another 20 tombs were excavated in Area 
B, E and F. Until now about one twentieth of the 
alleged cemetery surface has been studied through 
excavation. Very little can be said about the general 
layout of the necropolis, just according to geo- 
physical prospections 3 and excavations the streets 
followed an orthogonal road network (Fig. 1). 

Unlike the above mentioned tombs are the bur- 
ial monuments in Area A where the singular build- 
ings were planned and erected in a very economical 
way. Only the visible parts of the tombs were faced 
with limestone ashlars. The remaining masonry 
consists of basalt. These are very simple rectangu- 
lar multi-storied tower-like buildings (Fig. 2). 

Another type was found in Area B: Pyramidal 
graded rectangular buildings with a podium. In 



Area F such buildings without a podium were 
excavated. 

Since 2000, a new type of monumental tomb 
has been unearthed, represented here by tomb 29. 
The building is divided into a substructure and 
a pyramidal graded superstructure. The north 
facade, which is 8.6 m long, is fronted by a podium, 
which supported a five-pillared-portico. The po- 
dium consists of eleven limestone courses of vary- 
ing heights set on a 14 cm high cordon pedestal. 
Two-way staircases situated on both sides of the 
podium lead to the five-pillared portico. Two pillar 
fragments are still in situ, with a rectangular cross- 



Sources of illustrations: Fig. 1 : H. Hitgen - 1. Gerlach - N. R6- 
ring after R. Le Baron Bowen - F. P. Albright (ed.), PAFSM 2 
(1958) 153. - All others: made by the author. A detailed article by 
the author about the architectural work at the Awam cemetery 
from 1997 until 2000 was published in: ABADY 9 (2002) 93-1 15. 

1 H. Hitgen, Die sabaische Totenstadt am 'Almaqah-Tempel 
von Awam in Marib, in: Jemen. Kunst und Archaologie im 
Land der Konigin von Saba', exhibition cat. Vienna (1998) 
247ff.; idem, The 1997 Excavations of the German Institute 
of Archaeology at the Cemetery of Awam in Marib, PSAS 28, 
1998, 117ff.; I. Gerlach - H. Hitgen, Eine Totenstadt am 
Rande der wiiste. Der Friedhof des sabaischen Awam-Heilig- 
rums in Marib/Jemen, in: Deutsche: Archaologisches Institut 
(ed.), Die Forschungen des Deutschen Archaologischen In- 
stitute im 20. Jahrhundert (2000); I. Gerlach, Die Grabungen 
des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts Sana'a im sabaischen 
Friedhof des Awam-Tempels in Marib, in: Im Land der 
Konigin von Saba, exhibition cat. Munich (2000) 113ff. 

2 F. P. Albright, Excavations at Marib in Yemen, in: R. Le- 
Baron Bowen - F. P. Albright (ed.), Archaeological Dis- 
coveries in South Arabia, PAFSM 2 (1958) 215ff. 235 ff. 

' J. W. E. Fassbinder - H. Becker - I. Gerlach, Magnetometry 
in the Cemetery and the Awam-Temple in Marib, the Capi- 
tal of the Queen Saba, Yemen, in: Archaeological Prospec- 
tion, Arbeitshefte des Bayerischen Landesamtes fur 
Denkmalpflege 108, 1999, 161 ff. 



154 



Nicole Rorinc 




Fig. 1 Awam, cemetery, sketch plan 



section of 34 cm by 45 cm. The narrow sides point 
to the street. The pillars are set in rectangular frogs 
of 35 cm by 46 cm and with the depth of 1 or 2 cm. 
The intercolumnia equal exactly the length of 
two and a half narrow sides thus approaching the 
>Vitruvian< intercolumniation between an eustyle 
(factor two and a quarter) and the diastyle with 
factor three 4 . 

The string wall of the lateral stairs are capped 
with a tegula panel with one monolithic covering 
slab on top of each side. The tegula frieze consists 
of two ashlars; the joint is set in the space between 
the dentils and thus lies invisibly in the shadow 
(Fig. 3). 

The idea of the design principle of a podium- 
monument is quite often found in the sacred archi- 
tecture of South Arabia. For example the temple of 
Dhat Himyam, dhat Rahban, and also the temple 
of Sayyin dhu-Mayfa'an s . Both were erected on a 
podium and accessible by two lateral stairs. Or as 
we can find it at the Bar'an Temple in Marib where 
the monumental stairs lead to the propylon plat- 
form. The string walls of the Bar'an monumental 



stairs are also capped with a tegula panel like the 
ones from tomb 29. 

Another very typical technical element in South 
Arabian architecture are the long, finger-like posta- 
ments. They are plinths and at the same time stone- 
beam heads slightly projecting from the facade. 
These beams are interlocked with the construction 
situated behind them and flush with the stone slabs 
of the podium pavement. 

The postaments are supplied with 1 or 2 cm 
deep rectangular frogs. A doweling for the pillars 
to prevent a horizontal moving of architectural 
components was not necessary. Similar examples 
have also been noticed in the highlands of Yemen 
such as the temple in Na'ir,*, which demonstrates 
that the frontal orientation of the narrow sides of 



' B. Wyss (ed.), Viiruv, Baukuiut I, Biicher I-V (1995) 12Jff. 
' A. V. Sedov - A. Batayi', Temples of Ancient Hadramawt, 

PSAS 24, 1994, 195 1. 
' M. Jung, The Religious Monuments of Ancient Southern 

Arabia. A Preliminary Typological Classification, AION 

48, 1988, 177-218 pi. 9. 



The Facade of Monumental Tombs and Temples in Comparison 



155 



JUUUUUUUUL IUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL 








1 








. 


, - Y i v 


t-'l ') 


ji jj 


■ 1 <- a 


KT ! 


.1 


tf |. 


I . I 




:l - 


H II 1 . 


. ' - J ! -..- 




i i /<• 


















" ■ 1" . ,1 '" 


1 III 




/ 




I \\, 


/" - I 17 




-i 


I.,.,, 


- JL_. v/ 




• 1 1— , "■ 


: F 

r 

— 

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1 ' 

1 1 









1 1 

2 3m 



Fig. 2 Tomb 1, reconstructed south view 

the pillars is very typical for this type of architec- 
ture and that this can be used as a measurement for 
the ratio of cross-section to height. 

In Marib, both the pillars of the Bar'an Temple 
and of the Awam Temple have a ratio of 1 to ll 7 . 
The same ratio is adoptable for the reconstruction 
of the facade of tomb 29. With that I calculated an 
original height of 3.74 m based on width of pillar 
of 34 cm. The pillars supported an architrave of a 
single stone lintel such as the one of the temple of 
'Athtar in Ma'ln 8 or on the portico of the Almaqah 
Temple in Masagid'. Here the height of the archi- 
traves corresponds to the width of the pillars. 

At tomb 29 only a few fragments of the tegula 
panels and a fragment of a stone beam were found 
during the excavation, which I assign to the entab- 
lature of the portico. Consequently, the architrave 
was topped by large raised tegula panels capped 
with a simple band which in turn supported the 
projecting heads of the five stone-beams. The latter 
connect the portico with the tomb. 

Unlike the horizontal division of the substruc- 
ture the superstructure has a vertical pattern. In- 
cised lines on the in situ masonry of the superstruc- 
ture indicate the former position of the upper stone 
courses and also provide an idea of the architec- 
tural structure of the building. The center of the 
tomb facade is occupied by a risalit like projection. 
The courses of the ashlar masonry on either side of 
projection have been recessed to different degrees. 




Fig. 3 Tomb 29, tentative reconstruction of the north 
facade 

Thus the facade is divided into different zones, the 
interaction of light and shadow and the propor- 
tions help to create a mock facade which bears 
close resemblance to a small temple (Fig. 4). 

Additionally, the axial symmetrical structure of 
tomb 29, the schematic organisation of the stone 
ashlar courses, the incised lines on the architectural 
components as well as the reconstructed height of 
the pillars suggest an intentionally reduced con- 
ception which is based on specific architectural 
modules. To reconstruct the facade of the tomb, its 
original proportion system was to be studied and 
understood. The podium can be divided into three 
squares, while the superstructure consists of two 
squares. The portico forms one big square. With 
this suggestion of reconstruction the ratio of the 
substructure to the superstructure is 2:3, that of 
the substructure to the portico 4 : 2, and the ratio of 
the portico to the superstructure is 4 :3. The basic 
module is a square of 1.45 m by 1.45 m. 

The building has a clear architectural language. 
The design principles arc oriented to tradition.il ar- 
chitectural forms, primarily to the temple-architec- 
ture. Pillars and beams are only rectangular mono- 
liths, while decoration is reduced to -dentil and 



•Jbright 2 op cii 215ff. 
' |emen. Kunst und Atrchaologie im Land dcr Kimigin von 
Saba, exhibition cat Viemu 1998) 210 fig. 
I Schmidt, Icmpel una Hetligtumei in Suaarabien Zu den 
materiellea und tormalen Sirukturen dcr Sakralbaukunsr, 
NBA 14 (1997 



156 



Nicole Roeing 




Fig. 4 Tomb 29, axonometric reconstruction 

tegula< motives for crowns and cornices. The con- 
struction and the purist askesis of the architectural 
vocabulary is enhanced by the aesthetic effect of 
the polished stone surfaces - an effect that appar- 
ently was given special emphasis. The stone-treat- 
ment and setting is very exact and of a high-preci- 
sion technique. The blocks were laid without mor- 
tar and no clamps were used to bind the stones 
together. The facing is made of neatly cut limestone 
ashlar. All joints, both horizontal and vertical, 
were drafted with a flat chisel, creating 4-5 cm 
broad, fine polished margins around each block 
and a fine pecked center. Also the horizontal and 
vertical sides of the stones were created with 2-4 cm 
broad, smoothed anathyroses to get a nearly in- 
visible joint pattern. 

All above observations suggest, not only a 
highly advanced craftsmanship in the treatment 
and handling of the materials, but also a master- 
ship in conception and geometric proportioning. 
Highly skilled specialists must have existed, both 
in the field of planning and execution. This type of 



monumental tomb is the expression of the self- 
projection of high ranking individuals of the 
sabaean society. With its five-pillared portico it 
gives an impression of a small temple. The portico 
constitutes in each case a space of its own between 
the privacy of the tomb or temple and the public 
space. 

However, this is so far not very common in 
South Arabian sacred-architecture, where we usu- 
ally find an even number of pillars. The only ex- 
ception that comes to my mind is the five-pillared 
portico of a smaller temple at Sirwah, next to the 
famous temple of Almaqah, a monument that was 
reported by Achmed Fakhry 10 . 

The tomb 29 findings and decorative elements 
do not suggest clearly distinguishable construction 
stages during the time of construction. A later 
modification of the structure took place when 
tomb 33 was built immediately to the west. It 
blocked the access to the westerly staircase of tomb 
29, the string wall of which was destroyed during 
this process and converted into a staircase. The first 
step was made from a limestone-fragment on a 
higher level and perpendicularly to the podium. It 
also indicates that the new street level was about 
70 cm higher because of the accumulation of irriga- 
tion Aeolian sand (Fig. 5). 

Tomb 33 is a monumental building with a facade 
totally different from all the other tombs in the 
cemetery. It is a rectangular building with a po- 
dium in front of it. The podium was accessible 
from the north by a staircase fitted axially into the 
podium. From its landing and ascending two pairs 
of steps both, the eastern and the western half of 
the podium could be reached. From here two 
entrances led into the chambers. With a length of 
10.5 m it is the largest tomb we excavated until 
now. Because of its size, its symmetric elevation 
and its setting tomb 33 was apparently erected for 
very important persons. Obviously it was very 
important to the owner to build this tomb on this 
location, squeezing it into the gap between tombs 
29 and 51 and - at the same time - ignoring the 
westerly access to tomb 29. 

The podium was enclosed by something like a 
balustrade. It is absolutely sure that the podium 
was not roofed, because there are no traces of any 

10 A. Fikhry, An Archaeological Journey to Yemen (1952) 
pari I 47. part III pi. X A. 



The Facade of Monumental Tombs and Temples in Comparison 



157 




:?m*3 : m 




f 




158 



Nicole Romnc 





Fig. 6 Bull-headed gutter 



constructions for pillars. At the same time the 
podium was drained by a bull-headed gutter, of 
which a fragment has survived in situ; further 
gutter-fragments of varying size were found in the 
debris in front of the tomb. Therefore we may 
assume that both, the podium and the roof of the 
superstructure of tomb 33 were furnished with 
these gutters (Fig. 6). 

Of great interest are the findings at tomb 51, 
which is also a monumental tomb with a substruc- 
ture and a superstructure connected to another 
five-pillared portico on a podium. In general it 
replicates the order of the tomb 29 facade. Some 
differences, however, can be noticed: First of all, 
tomb 51 is 8.15 m long and therefore a little bit 
smaller than tomb 29. Similar to tomb 33 it is 
accessible from the north. Two bend staircases at 
either end of the podium grant access to the five- 
pillared portico. Further on, the pillars are bigger 
and the intercolumnia are only twice as wide as the 
width of the pillars. The portico was definitely 
higher then the one of tomb 29. The neighbouring 
monument, tomb 52, of which only a small part 
with the staircase was unearthed, seems to be very 
similar to tomb 51. Probably the two tombs used 
the same staircase. 

Tombs 33, 51 and 52 shared with tomb 29 the 
same high quality execution of the limestone 
masonry: the surface of the ashlars is finely pecked 
and the margins are drafted with a flat chisel. 
Along the same line and within the unexcavated 
area further monumental tombs of these types can 
be expected. 

The tombs of the Awam necropolis are an out- 
standing example of sabaean mortuary architec- 
ture. Much effort, time and wealth were invested 
into their construction in a way that is well compa- 



rable with the contemporary funerary monuments 
of the classical mediterranean cultures. 

On the one hand we have tombs with facades 
which look like residential buildings. On the other 
hand there are tombs replicating monumental 
buildings of public or representative function. To 
sum up, at least, three types of tombs can be no- 
ticed in the Awam necropolis: 

1. The simple tower-like tombs, 

2. Tombs with pyramidal graded superstructure, 

3. Monumental tombs with portico. 

The types artyfied by a general framework within 
which enough variability is permitted to express the 
individual status and requirements of the owner. 

The old-south-arabian order of plinth, pillar and 
cornice as a long living architectural design prin- 
ciple was considered a characteristical element of 
the classical temple architecture. All the examples 
show that you can find this architectural order in 
mineaen, qatabanian and hadrami architecture as 
well as in the sabaean architecture. The impact of 
the sabaean architecture appeared across most of 
the South Arabian provinces, forms however 
parochial or vernacular, distinguished in their 
differences of proportions or their decorations of 
pillars with carvings. They are schematically and 
purposively just the same. Until now it is very 
difficult to make some chronologies because the 
architecture is fixed over many centuries in a tradi- 
tional style. 

It is indisputable that they used details and orders 
from the temple-architecture in a smaller scale like 
the pillared portico, which was an unavoidable 
architectural symbol of south Arabian civilisation, 
now no longer reserved to temples. Therefore, the 
architectural concept of tombs 29 and 51 lies in the 
highly contrastive juxtaposition of the closed, 



The Facade of Monumental Tombs and Temples in Comparison 



159 



cubic structure of the grave chambers and the fill— 
greed detailing of the slender pillars in front of it. 
In case of the tombs, however, the architectural 
form can be classified with the social type. This 
splendid architecture of the monumental tombs 
speaks powerfully of civic pride and civilized com- 
munity while providing palatial backdrops for 
ordinary activities. 



Address: 

DipL-Ing. Nicole Rdring, Deutsches Archaologisches 
InstitM, Architekturreferat, Podbielskiallee 69-71, 
D-14195 Berlin, nicoleroering@web.de 



160 Nicole Rosing 



^iiaJlAjifxAji^JiS j(ti*]1 4il*)*l j • 

(Nicole ROring) 



; L >oal> 



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i^i J*J .M 11 'ruj t/ji i/*- 11 t^-H i> Jl j*V ^ i «»•» i 'II JO-ouB i> j^ j» V>ft?l j*li»B (> £>B li» 

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: f i jl oiii. ^ jA»*li i> £i>i tt*l jSii J UiLs J.«"*Wj 

^^.a^jAi^jj^oii^i. 2) 
•ti'jj & i 4-i-i j^i. 3) 

,M<) <ialluu i^lie ^i^iu. fjii j jjotU ^u^-ii j i^iuii i-Jic j i ji. tjlja 5jjft/i >iJi i*a ja .juji , j* 



Alexander Sedov 



HADRAMAWT COINAGE: ITS SEQUENCE AND CHRONOLOGY 



The settlements of Bi'r 'All (ancient Qdni') and 
Khor Ron (ancient Sumhuram) are the rarest 
examples of continuously excavated South Arabian 
pre-Islamic monuments that provide scholars with 
stratified numismatic finds. The importance of 
such kind of material could hardly be overesti- 
mated: in addition to the new data on political and 
economic history of the ancient South Arabian 
kingdoms, it allows us to date archaeological strata 
more precisely. But there are several difficulties in 
interpretation of the results of the studies, and the 
most important are the vagueness of the absolute 
chronology of South Arabian coinage and uncer- 
tainty of the sequence of distinguished series. 

The absolute chronology of South Arabian coin- 
age is the most disputed question. For the first series, 
which are imitations of Athenian tetradrachms with 
the head of Athena on the obverse and standing 
owl on the reverse, there is, at least, the terminus 
post quem, but dating of the series with local ico- 
nography is very uncertain. There are no dates or 
other chronological indicators in the coin legends. 
There are very few iconographical features that can 
be compared with the elements of Hellenistic or 
Roman coinage with well established chronology. 
There are no coin hoards from South Arabia that 
contain dated foreign series in addition to the local 
ones. The names of the rulers, who issued South 
Arabian coins, when they do occur, are very rare, 
and it is difficult to correlate them with the rulers 
attested in South Arabian inscriptions. Thus, the 
only means of arriving at an approximate absolute 
chronology of South Arabian series is with the aid 
of archaeology. 

The Russian excavations at Bi'r 'All settlement 
(ancient Qdni') recovered a bulk of different Hadra- 
mawt, Sabaean and Himyarite series (see Table 1) 
in the strata, which could be assigned to the three 



main archaeological periods. The periods are dated 
by the presence of imported pottery, mainly of 
Mediterranean origin, and by other chronologi- 
cally sensitive archaeological material 1 . Thus, we 
have now the possibility to determine a general 
chronological framework for a number of the 
South Arabian coinages, particularly for Hadra- 
mawt, late Sabaean and late Himyarite series. But 
there are again at least two big difficulties which 
don't allow us to use this method precisely: 1. the 
wide range giving by the archaeological dating, and 
2. the fact that according to the finds from control- 
led excavations the custom to withdraw old coins 
from circulation whenever new ones have been in- 
troduced was apparently not practised in ancient 
Yemen. But in anyway, based on the results of our 
archaeological investigations, we can solve, or at 
least try to solve these problems. 

The typological sequence of the Hadramawt 
coinage was built on the material from museum col- 



Sources of illustrations: Fig. 1, 10: S. C. H. Munro-Hay, The 
Coinage of Shabwa (Hadhramawt), and other Ancient South 
Arabian Coinage in the National Museum, Aden (1991) 398 
fig. 1 . - All others are made by the author. 

The article is written in the framework of the joint Russian- 
German-Italian-French INTAS project 00-00028 »Incense 
Long Distance Trade, Pre-Islamic Inscriptions and Antiquities 
of f^adramawt* (project co-ordinator: Ch.J. Robin). 

1 Cf. A. V. Sedov, New Archaeological and Epigraphical 
Material from Qana (South Arabia), AAE 3 no. 2, 1992, 
110-137; idem, Qana' (Yemen) and the Indian Ocean. 
Archaeological Evidence, in: H. P. Ray-J.-F. Salles (eds.), 
Tradition and Archaeology. Early Maritime Contacts in the 
Indian Ocean, Proceedings of the International Seminar 
•Techno-Archaeological Perspectives of Seafaring in the 
Indian Ocean, 4 lh cent. B.C. - 15* cent. A.D.- New Delhi 
1994 (1996) 1-35. 



162 



Alexander Sedov 



SERIES (TYPES) 


NUMBER OF PIECES 


TOTAL 


SURFACE 


AREA1 


AREA 2 


AREA 3 


AREA 4 


AREA 5 


AREA 6 


Hadramawt, series 
>head/owl< (type 1.2) 


1 






1 






6 


8 (1.0%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>head/owl< (type 2.1) 














1 


1 (0.1%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>radiated head/winged 
caduceus< (type 3) 


2 




3 


5 


2 




6 


20 (2.8%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>head/eagle< (type 4) 


6 






2 


3 




15 


26 (3.4%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>radiated head/bullc 
(type 5.2) 










1 






1 (0.1%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>JV/bull< (rype 8.1) 


2 








3 






5 (0.7%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>radiated head/bull< 
(type 5.3) 


1 


1 




16 


2 




19 


39 (5.2%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>head/bull< (type 6.1) 






2 


7 


2 




11 


22 (2.9%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>head/bull< (rype 6.2) 








1 








1 (0.1%) 


Hadramawt, series 
>head/bulTs head< 
(type 7.1) 








1 


2 






3 (0.4%) 


Hadramawt, series >?qrl 
bull's head< (type 10) 


38 




47 


84 


80 


2 


91 


342 (45.3%) 


Unidentified, 
Hadramawt coinage? 


1 


1 






3 




29 


34 (4.5%) 


Saba', series with 
bucrtmium 


1 






2 


7 




13 


23 (3.0%) 


Himyar, series with 
two heads 






1 








3 


4 (0.5%) 


Late Himyar, series 
with bucranium 


13 




11 


69 


8 




56 


157 (20.8%) 


Unidentified, late 
Himyarice coinage? 


14 




4 


39 






8 


65 (8.6%) 


Aksumite coinage 


2 










1 




3 (0.4%) 


Eastern Arabian coinage 














1 


1 (0.1%) 


Unidentified, foreign 
coinage 










1 






1 (0.1%) 


TOTAL 


81 
(10.8%) 


2 

(0.2%) 


68 

(9.0%) 


227 

(30.4%) 


114 
(15.1%) 


3 

(0.4%) 


259 
(34.3%) 


756 

(100.0%) 



Table 1 Distribution of the coins' finds at Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani") 



Hadramavt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology 



163 



lections, mostly from the museums in al-Mukalla 
and Say'un 2 . 

Like in other South Arabian kingdoms the first 
coins minted and circulated in Hadramawt were 
imitations of Athenian tetradrachms of the so- 
called old style (series >Athena's head/owl<; types 
1.1 and 1.2; Fig. 1, l) 3 . Attic coins from the time of 
Philip II and Alexander the Great and/or their ori- 
ental imitations< were used as models for such 
mintage. Imitations were struck in silver and 
bronze in several denominations following, proba- 
bly, the local weight standard with the highest 
denomination close to 5.6 g. Different Hadrami 
letters were placed on the Athena's cheek to distin- 
guish coin values of a whole, half, quarter and one 
eighth denominations. Doubtless that the bronze 
coins were struck using the same dies as for silver 
pieces. 

It seems, that the early Hadramawt imitations 
were minted quite a long period of time: while the 
earliest samples showed very accurate legend and 
faithful style of image, comparable to the foreign 
models, the later issues bore images with various 
degrees of debasement in legend and representa- 
tions until one could barely recognize a head on 
the obverse and a crude outline of the owl with 
traces of the first and last letters of a pseudo-Greek 
legend on the reverse. 

Coins with Athena's head and owl were re- 
placed in Hadramawt by the other series which 
obverse bore a male (?) head facing to the right in- 
stead of the head of the Greek goddess (series 
>head/owl<; types 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3; Fig. 1, 2). The 
head was adorned with something similar to trian- 
gles or triangular rays: apparently the image was 
derived from the head of Athena wearing a helmet 
adorned with olive leaves. Its reverse still showed 
an owl standing to the left or right, head facing, 
but a pseudo-Greek legend was replaced by the 
Hadrami one or by a monogram representing the 
name ) l li = s 2 qr, the name of the royal residence in 
Shabwa, and denoting, most probably, the royal 
mint located in the capitals well. Such coins were 
struck only in bronze on uneven, often triangular 
rather thick (4.5-8.0 mm) flans, about 10 x 12 mm 
in size. Their weights were irregular, roughly from 
2.0 to 4.5 g, representing, probably, one denomina- 
tion: traces of the value-mark in form of South 
Arabian letter f=n (reversed) are preserved on the 
obverse of several known pieces. 



The obverse of the next series of Hadramawt 
coinage bore a radiated male(?) head facing to the 
right, while the reverse showed a winged caduceus 
accompanied with the name )$i = s'qr (vertical 
legend on the right) and monogram on the left 
(series >radiated head/winged caduceus<; type 3; 
Fig. 1, 3). Coins were struck on uneven rather thick 
(3-5.5 mm) flans, 10-11 mm in diameter or 
10-13 x 11 -14 mm in size, very similar to the flans 
of the previous imitative series. Their weights were 
irregular, from 1.60 to 3.15 g; die-axis was unstable. 

Following the suggestion of Ch. J. Robin 4 , the 
monogram on the reverse could be deciphered as 
the name of Sumhuram (s'mhrm). This possible 
reading could be interpreted in two ways: 1. as a 
part of the name of Hadrami ruler who struck the 
coins, or 2. as a mint-name. In the first case we 
can suppose that during a certain period in the late 
1" century B.C. Hadramawt was under the rule of 
a certain Sumhuram who for some reasons was not 
mentioned in the known inscriptions 5 . Following 
the second interpretation we have to come to the 
conclusion that series with winged caduceus on 
the reverse was a provincial coinage minted not in 
the capital but, for instance, in Sumhuram, the 
Hadrami daughter-city on the coast of Dhofar 6 . 
They were circulated, according to the finds, all 
over the territory of the ancient kingdom. 

Typologically coins with caduceus were a con- 
tinuation of imitative series with owl on the re- 
verse: 1. they were struck on similar irregular and 
rather thick flans; 2. the radiated head on the 
obverse could be considered as the next and, prob- 
ably, the final phase of derivative image of Athena 



2 Cf. A. V. Sedov - 'U. 'Aydarus, The Coinage of Ancient 
Hadramawt. The Pre-Islamic Coins in the al-Mukalli 
Museum, AAE 6 no. 1, 1995, 15-60; A. V. Sedov, Moneti 
drevnego Hadramauta (The Coinage of Ancient Hadra- 
mawt) (1998). 

3 »Series a« according to the Hill's classification: G. F. Hill, 
Catalogue of the Greek coins of Arabia, Mesopotamia, and 
Persia, BMC Greek Coins 28 (1922) p. xlvi-xlviii. 

4 Cf. Sedov - 'Aydarus op. cit. 44. 

s A certain Sum[hu]ram 'Alha[n], mukarrib of Hadramawt is 
mentioned in the inscription 'Uqayba 5 carelessly engraved 
on the rock: J. Pirenne, Les temoins ecrits de la region de 
Shabwa et 1' histoire (1990) 53 f. - Palaeography of the tea 
is very uncertain, which doesn' t allow to date the inscrip- 
tion precisely. Could it be our Sumhuram? 

' F. P. Albright, The American Archaeological Expedition in 
Dhofar, Oman, 1952-1953, PAFSM VI (1982). 



164 



Alexander Sedov 




Fig. 1 Hadramawt and late Himyarite coinage. 1. Series -Athena's head/owl< (type 1.2; Dia 15 mm). - 2. Series -head/ 
owI< (type 2.1; Oia 11 mm). - i. Series 'radiated head/winged caduceus< (type 3; Dia 11 mm). - 4. Series >head/eagle< 
(type 4; Dia 44 mm). - 5. Series .radiated head/bull' (type 5.1; Dia 20 mm). - 6. Series -radiated head/bull< (type 5 J; 
Dia 1 2 mm). - 7. Series -radiated head/bull- (type 5.3 ; Dia 1 9 mm). - 8. Series -head/bull" (type 6. 1 ; Dia 1 4 mm). - 9. Se- 
ries -head/bull's head< (type 7.1; Dia 12 mm). - 10: Series >i'qrlbu\\' (type 8.1; Dia unknown). - 11. Series •s'gr/bull'i 
head' (type 10; size 11 x 12 mm). - 12. Scries with bucranmm (Dia 7 mm) 



wearing a helmet adorned with olive leaves; 3. the 
style and place of legend iqr on the reverse were 
absolutely identical on both series. 

The next series of Hadramawt coinage is com- 
pletely new. These are the well-known pieces with 
male head with hair in long ringlets facing to the 



right (most probably, the portrait of the ruler), large 
letter t = m (reversed) and name of the -federal' 
Hadramawt deity S?A = s'yn on the obverse, and an 
eagle with open wings (undoubtedly the manifesta- 
tion of s'yn) and two names, )ii = s 2 qr and If J? = 
ys'h, on the reverse (series >head/eagle<; type 4; 



Hadramavt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology 



165 



Fig. 1, 4) 7 . Coins were cast in a mould (there are 
trace* of cut mould-junctions practically on all 
pieces). They vary in size and weights, which pre- 
sumably depended on the coins' value: >large< (size 
26 x 38 mm, weights from 87.8 to 1 1 .7 g), >medium< 
(size 21-23x24-26 mm, weights from 8.25 to 
3.24 g), and >small< (size 15-19 x 18-21 mm, weights 
from 2.6 to 0.75 g) denominations. Die-axis was 
constant - on 12.00 o'clock. There is evidence that 
at least some of the coins of this series were moulded 
not in bronze, but in billon 8 . 

Some pieces, especially those of >large< and 
>medium< denominations, have clear images and 
legends. In contrast, the representations on the 
well-preserved coins of >small< denomination are 
decomposed, sometimes completely. One can 
barely recognize the big letter m and something 
similar to a head on the obverse. The eagle on the 
reverse was converted into a kind of chicken and 
legends disappeared, sometimes completely. Such 
>degradation< was, most probably, the result of 
poor technology, when errors successfully accu- 
mulated in new coin moulds. 

There is a kind of common agreement that the 
Hadrami coins with eagle on the reverse were 
issued by Yashhur'il Yuhar'ish, son of Abiyasa', 
mukarrib of Hadramawt, attested in several in- 
scriptions 9 . One of the legends on the reverse, ys*h, 
was usually interpreted as the first three letters, 
Yash(a)h, of his first name. 

There is a unique coin from Shabwa in the col- 
lection of the al-Mukalla museum, which repre- 
sented the beginning of a long typological line of 
the Hadramawt coinage. Its obverse bore a radi- 
ated male (?) head facing to the left within linear 
border, and reverse showed a bull standing to the 
right accompanied with legends [)r]$ = s'fqrj and 
\tf = ys 2 h (series >radiated head/bull<; type 5.1; 
Fig. 1, 5). It seems quite probable that this coin was 
minted by the same ruler, namely Yashhur'il 
Yuhar'ish, son of Abiyasa', mukarrib of Hadra- 



reverse of Yashhur'il Yuhar'ish coins, his series 
>radiated head/bull< (type 5.1). Moreover, coins of 
both types were cast in a mould. Thus, we can 
assume that coins of our type 5.2 were issued by 
the immediate successor of the mukarrib, and the 
name of this successor was denoted by the letter 
h = alef on the obverse (the name like 'Ill'adh or 
'Ilriydm). 

The next type represents, probably, the typo- 
logical end of the above mentioned series. The ob- 
verse of the coins bore a radiated male(?) head 
facing to the right accompanied with Hadrami let- 
ter t\ = s 1 , while the reverse showed a bull standing 
on line to the right, head facing, horizontal legend 
H$ = s'qr on top above the bull, and a monogram 
on bottom right (series >radiated head/bull<; type 
5.3; Fig. 1, 7). The coins were struck on regular 
' rather thick, sometimes slightly scyphate flans 
with bevelled edges, 19-22 mm in diameter. Then- 
weights were irregular, roughly from 3.5 to 9.0 g. 
The letter on the obverse probably stands for the 
name s'yn, the Hadrami >federal< deity, and the 
monogram on the reverse could be deciphered as 
initial letters of the name started with ]1h = '»'/-, 
again something like 'Ill'adh or 'Ilriydm. 

Usually the state of preservation of such coins 
is very poor (they are corroded, broken on edges, 
have a lot of cracks), but several pieces bear rather 
clear image and legend on the reverse. There is also 
a feature - small central conical cavity on one or 
two sides of the coins -, which helps to identify the 
type more or less precisely. The appearance of cavi- 
ties was connected with coin-making technology 
existing in the Mediterranean coinage, specifically 
with the final process of manufacture of coin- 
blanks". 

The other two series of the Hadramawt coinage 
are different from the previous one not only by 
iconography, but also by their size and weights as 
well: they are lighter and smaller. The obverse of 



The next type of the §ame series is coins with 
radiated head facing to the left accompanied with 
letter h = alef in front of the face on the obverse, 
and a bull standing to the right accompanied with 
two legends, )r i = s'qr and % = s'yn, on the reverse 
(series >radiated head/bull<; type 5.2; Fig. 1, 6). 
Iconographically the representations of these coins 
are rather close to the images on the obverse and 



7 Cf. J. Walker, A New Type of South Arabian Coinage, 
NC 17, 1937, 260-279. 

8 A. V. Sedov, Two South Arabian Coins from Mleiha, AAE 6 
no. 1, 1995, 62-65. 

' Cf. Ch. J. Robin, Yashhur'il Yuhar'ish, fils d'Abiyasa', 

mukarrib du Hadramawt, Raydan 6, 1994, 101-111. 
10 See Sedov -'Aydarus op.cit. 21-23 cat. 19. 
" Ibidem 47 f. 



166 



Alexander Sedov 



the coins of one of the series bore a male head fac- 
ing to the right with hair in long ringlets wearing a 
cap or a helmet, and a monogram or vertical legend 
Vft = s'yn in front of it; the reverse showed a bull 
standing to the right on line, the legend h?h = s'yn 
on top of it and, sometimes, the second vertical 
legend )t5 = s'qr in front of the bull (series >head/ 
bull<; types 6.1 and 6.2; Fig. 1, 8). The coins of 
the other series had the same representation and 
monogram on the obverse, while the reverse bore 
a frontal bull's head accompanied with vertical 
legends % = s'yn and )H = s 2 qr (series >head/bull's 
head<; type 7.1; Fig. 1, 9). The monogram on the 
obverse of both series could be deciphered as initial 
letters of the name started with Jlf =yrf-, something 
like Yada'll or Yada"ab. 

The other series of the coins bore the legend 
)t& = s 2 qr in a square frame on the obverse, and bull 
standing to the right on line, head facing, accompa- 
nied with horizontal legend 4?fi = s'yn on top and 
vertical legend )H = s 2 qr on right on the reverse 
(series >$^r/bul]<; type 8.1; Fig. 1, 10). The coins of 
one more series bore big letters of legend )t$ = s 2 qr 
on the obverse, and bull's head facing front with 
legend h?fl = s'yn (letter t\ = s' on right, letter T = y on 
top between horns, and letter S = n on left) on the 
reverse (series >s 1 qr/bu]l's heads type 10; Fig. 1,11). 
The latter coins were struck on small, 8-10 x 
8-10 mm in size, rather thick square, rectangular 
or oblong bronze flans, and represented the most 
numerous mintage of the Hadramawt coinage (for 
instance, at Bi'r 'All settlement, ancient Qani', they 
constituted 45.3% of the total coins' finds). 

These are, in brief, the typology and sequence 
of the Hadramawt series 12 . Let's have now a close 
look at the possible absolute dating of coins, how 
it was determined from the stratigraphy of coins' 
finds at Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani") and other 
Hadramawt monuments. 

As it was noted already above, there is a termi- 
nus post quern for the early Hadramawt imitative 
series > Athena's head/owl<: the date of Attic origi- 
nals minted during the time of Alexander the Great 
and his father. In other words, the imitative series 
couldn't appear in Hadramawt before the middle 
of the 4 ,h century B.C. (as the earliest). On the 
other hand, we don't know precisely when the for- 
eign originals reached the Hadramawt, and how 
long was the time span (several decades?) between 
this date and the time when the first imitative series 



started to be minted by local rulers. We cannot 
exclude also the possibility, that the first coins 
minted in Hadramawt were >imitations of imita- 
tions< and were struck, for instance, following the 
imitations of Athenian tetradrachms minted al- 
ready in Palestine or even in the neighbouring 
Qataban 13 , which dating is not certain in compari- 
son with the pure Attic series. But in anyway, bear- 
ing in mind all these complications, we may as- 
sume, in my opinion, that the imitative Hadra- 
mawt coinage started roughly around the begin- 
ning of the second half of the 4 th century B.C. The 
first issues were struck, probably, only in silver, 
but rather soon they were supplemented with 
bronze fractions. For several reasons it's very 
tempting to correlate the beginning of the Hadra- 
mawt coinage with the rule of Shahr 'Alhan, son of 
Yada'll, king of Hadramawt (c. 360-345 B.C.), 
and his successors Yada'll Bayan, son of Sum- 
huyafa' (c. 345-340 B.C.) and Tlsama' Dhii- 
Bayan, son of Malikkarib (c. 340-325 B.C.), 
known from the inscriptions RES 2778 = M 30 and 
RES 3869. It was the period when Hadramawt 
established the direct, via Main, trade connections 
with the Eastern Mediterranean countries. 

How long were early Hadramawt imitations 
minted and circulated? Our excavations at Ray bun 
settlement in the Wadi Daw'an provided us with a 
single coin find - the bronze coin of the series 
>Athena's headVowl< with traces of pseudo-Greek 
legend on the reverse (type 1.2). The coin was found 
on the floor near the altar in the ruins of the temple 
of 'Athtarum/'Astarum dhat Hadran, located on 
the northern outskirts of the settlement Appar- 
ently, the coin was a part of offering brought to the 
temple not long before its destruction, which took 
place, according to the Raybun pottery sequence 
and series of radiocarbon dates, around the early 
1" century B.C. 14 . Two bronze coins of the same 



13 On the other Hadrami coin types and series, which are not 

attested in the materia] from Bi'r 'All see: Sedov, Moneti 

drevnego Hadramauta op.cit. 21-146. 
" Cf. Y.M. 'Abdullah - - A.O. Ghileb-A.V. Sedov, Early 

Qatabinian Coinage: the as-$urayrah Coin Hoard, AAE 8 

no. 2, 1997, 203-229. 
" Cf. A. V. Sedov, Le temple de 'Athtamm/'Astanim dhSt 

Hadran: description archeologique, in: S. Frantsouzoff, 

Raybun. Hadran, temple de la deesse 'Athtarum/'Astarum, 

IDISV(2001)28f. 



Hadkamavt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology 



167 



series (type 1.2) were found at Bi'r 'All settlement 
(ancient Qani") on the floor of the earliest building 
excavated in the strata of the >lower< (BA-I) period, 
which was destroyed close to the very early 1" cen- 
tury A.D. (see Table 2). Four additional pieces of 
the same series were found on the surface of the 
site and in its more recent strata (see Tables 1 and 4). 
Thus, the period of possible minting and, especially, 
circulation of the early Hadramawt imitative series 
>Athena's head/owl< with pseudo-Greek legend on 
the reverse was obviously quite long - several hun- 
dred years. When they were replaced by the series 
>head/owl< with Hadrami legend s*qr on the re- 
verse is not clear. Probably, it took place around 
the middle of the 2 nd century B.C., but this is more 
a speculation than a statement, which needs confir- 
mation by further studies. The finds from control- 
led excavations show that, like other Hadramawt 
series, the early imitations remained in circulation 
some time after the new series of the Hadramawt 
coinage were introduced into the market. 

At Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani 1 ) three main 
periods were determined: >lower< (BA-I) period 
dated between the early 1" and late 2 centuries 
A.D.; >middle< (BA-II) period dated between the 
late 2 nd and 5 th centuries A.D.; >upper< (BA-III) pe- 
riod dated between the 6 th and early 7 th centuries 
A.D. Stratigraphically the >middle< period can be 
divided into two phases: >early< layers (late 2 nd -3 
centuries A.D.) and >late< layers (4 Ill -5 ,1, centuries 
A.D.). In addition to the series of the early Hadra- 
mawt imitations, the strata of the >early< (BA-I) 
period revealed six pieces of the series >radiated 
head/winged caduceus< (type 3), eleven coins of 
Yashhurll Yuhar'ish, son of Ablyasa', mukarrib of 
Hadramawt (his series >head/eagle<; type 4), forty 
three square coins of the series a^r/bull's head< 
(type 10), and single pieces of Sabaean series with 
bucranium, Himyarite series >with two heads< 
and Eastern Arabian coin of the class XXXVIII 
according to D.T Potts classification 15 (see Table 2). 
Thus, we have now the first archaeological evidence 
that all above mentioned, series must be dated 
within the absolute framework of the archaeologi- 
cal >early< (BA-I) period of Bi'r 'All occupation, i. e. 
between the early 1 st and late 2 nd centuries A.D. 16 . 

Comparisons with the Eastern Mediterranean 
coinage may shed additional light on the possible 
dating of the Hadrami series with winged caduceus 
and eagle. The representation of caduceus on the 



coins from Hadramawt is very similar, nearly iden- 
tical to the winged caduceus on the reverse of 
bronze coins of the king Aminta struck in Galatia 
in 36-26 B.C. 17 . Most probably, the coins from 
Asia Minor gave terminus post quern for Hadra- 
mawt series with caduceus, although it's hard to 
imagine the direct borrowing of the image. Thus, 
we may assume that the coins with caduceus on 
the reverse were struck in the late l 5t century 
B.C. -early 1" century A.D. by a certain Hadra- 
mawt ruler with the name of Sumhuram, but, 
according to stratigraphical finds from Bi'r 'All 
settlement (ancient Qani'), were remained in circu- 
lation during, at least, the entire 1 st and 2 centu- 
ries A.D. 

J. Walker, following the suggestion of E. S. G. 
Robinson, compared the image on the reverse of 
the coins of Yashhurll Yuhar'ish, son of Ablyasa', 
mukarrib of Hadramawt, his series >head/eagle< 
(type 4), with representation of eagle on the issues 
of the Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian 
minted in Alexandria and Septimius Severus struck 
in Antioch. Such resemblance allowed him to date 
Hadramawt coinage around the early 2° century 
A.D. 18 . In the recent numismatic literature there is 
a tendency to date those coins even later — close to 
the early 3 century A.D. 19 . But such dating con- 
tradicts with stratigraphy of coins' finds on the an- 
cient settlements, with attribution of the coinage to 
Yashhurll Yuhar'ish, son of Ablyasa', mukarrib 
of Hadramawt, and with iconographical parallels. 
According to Ch.J. Robin, mukarrib ruled in the 



15 D.T. Potts, The Pre-Islamic Coinage of Eastern Arabia 
(1991) 73. 

16 Five coins of the Hadramawt series >radiated head/bull* 
(type 5.3) were also found in the upper strata of the >lower< 
(BA-I) period at the Area 6 (see Table 2), but their exact lo- 
cation indicates that it was a kind of late intrusion into the 
layers of the dower* period during, most probably, the con- 
structional works, which took place later, in the >middle< 
(BA-II) period of Bi'r 'AIT occupation. 

17 Details see in Sedov, Moneti drevnego Hadramauta op. cit. 
(note 2) 70-75. 

" Walker op. cit. 264. 279. 

19 G. Dembski, The Coins of Arabia Felix, in: W. Daum (ed.), 
Yemen: 3000 Years of Art and Civilization in Arabia Felix, 
exhibition cat. Munich (1987) 126-128; S.C.H. Munro- 
Hay, The Coinage of Shabwa (Hadhramawt), and other 
Ancient South Arabian Coinage in the National Museum, 
Aden, in: J.-F. Breton (ed.), Fouilles de Shabwa II. Rapports 
preliminaires (1992) 410. 



168 



Alexander Sedov 



SERIES (TYPES) 


NUMBER OF PIECES 


TOTAL 


AREA 4 


AREA 6 


Hadramawt, series >head/owl< (type 1.2) 




2 


2 


Hadramawt, series >head/owl< (type 2.1) 




1 


1 


Hadramawt, series >radiated 
head/winged caduceus< (type 3) 


1 


5 


6 


Hadramawt, series >head/eagle< 
(type 4) 




11 


11 


Hadramawt, series >radiated head/bull< 
(type 5.3) 




5 


5 


Hadramawt, series >s 2 qr/buH's head< 
(type 10) 




43 


43 


Unidentified, Hadramawt coinage? 




11 


11 


Saba', series with bucranium 




1 


1 


Himyar, series with two heads 




1 


1 


Eastern Arabian coinage, 
class XXXVIII 




1 


1 


TOTAL 


1 


81 


82 



Table 2 Distribution of coins in the layers of the 'lower' (BA-I) period at Bi'r 'All 
settlement (ancient Qd»0 



SERIES (TYPES) 


NUMBER OF PIECES 


TOTAL 


AREA 2 


AREA 3 


AREA 5 


AREA6 


Hadramawt, series >radiated head/ 
winged caduceus* (type 3) 




1 






1 


Hadramawt, series >head/eagle< 
(type 4) 




1 






1 


Hadramawt, series >radiated head/bull< 
(type 5.3) 




15 






15 


Hadramawt, series >head/bull< 
(type 6.1) 


1 


4 




1 


6 


Hadramawt, series >head/bull< 
(type 6.2) 




1 






1 


Hadramawt, series >head/bull's head« 
(iype 7.1) 




1 






1 


Hadramawt, series ^gr/bull's head< 
(type 10) 


12 




2 


8 


22 


TOTAL 


13 


23 


2 


9 


47 



Table 3 Distribution of coins in the >early< layers of the >middle< (BA-II) period at Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qini') 



Hadramawt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology 



169 



* SERIES (TYPES) 


NUMBER OF PIECES 


TOTAL 


AREA 2 


AREA 3 


AREA 4 


AREA 5 


AREA 6 


Hadramawt, series >head/owl< 
(type 1.2) 




1 






4 


5 


Hadramawt, series >radiated 
head/winged caduceus< (type 3) 


3 


4 


1 




3 


11 


Hadramawt, series >head/eagle< 
(type 4) 




1 


3 




4 


8 


Hadramawt, series >radiated 
head/bull< (type 5.2) 






1 






1 


Hadramawt, series >s 2 qr/bu\U 
(type 8.1) 






3 






3 


Hadramawt, series >radiated 
head/bull< (type 5.3) 




1 


2 




14 


17 


Hadramawt, series >head/bull< 
(type 6.1) 


1 


3 


2 




10 


16 


Hadramawt, series >head/bull's 
head< (type 7.1) 






2 






2 


Hadramawt, series >s 3 ^r/bull's 
head< (type 10) 


35 


84 


80 




40 


239 


Unidentified, 
Hadramawt coinage? 






3 




18 


21 


Saba', series with bucranixm 




2 


7 




12 


21 


Himyar, series with two heads 


1 








2 


3 


Late Himyar, series with 
bucranium 


11 


69 


8 




56 


144 


Unidentified, 

late Himyarite coinage? 


4 


39 






8 


51 


Aksumite coinage 








1 




1 


Unidentified, foreign coinage 






1 






1 


TOTAL 


55 


204 


113 


1 


171 


544 



Table 4 Distribution of coins in the >late< layers of the >middle< (BA-II) period at Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani") 



early 1" century A.D. 20 . Stratigraphy of coins finds 
at Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani') confirmed in 
general the >early< chronology: as was stated above 
eleven pieces of the series with eagle were found on 
the floors and immediately above them in the ruins 
of dwellings considered to be the earliest at the site 



and dated close to the early l"-mid 2 nd centuries 
A.D. But again, like for other Hadramawt series, 
there is plenty of archaeological evidence that 
coins of the series >head/eagle< (type 4) were re- 

20 Robin op.cit. 107-109. 



170 



Alexander Sedov 



mained in circulation in Hadramawt in the 2" , 3 r , 
and even in the early 4 th centuries A.D. (see Tables 
3 and 4). As we noted a few years ago, the repre- 
sentation of the eagle with open wings facing to the 
right on the coins of Nero minted in Antioch about 
49 A.D. is very close to that found on the Hadra- 
mawt issues 21 . 

The coins of the series >radiated head/bull< (type 
5.2) with letter alef on the obverse, which typo- 
logically were a continuation of the issues of Yash- 
hur'll Yuhar'ish, son of AbTyasa', mukarrib of 
Hadramawt, were tentatively attributed to his suc- 
cessor (see above). It seems likely that they repre- 
sent the coinage of 'IlT'adh Yalut, son of Yada'll, 
king of Hadramawt, attested in the texts from 
Khor Ron (ancient Smnhuram) and Shabwa, and, 
most probably, was mentioned in the »Periplus 
Mare Erythraeum* as Eleazos, king of the »frank- 
incense-bearing land*. His reign lasted probably 
into the third quarter of the 1" century A.D. At 
Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qdni') the sole piece 
of such series was found at the Area 4 in the >late< 
layers of the >middle< (BA-II) period (see Table 4). 

The appearance of the most common series of 
the ancient Hadramawt coinage - small square 
bronze coins with the name s*qr on the obverse, 
bull's head facing front and legend s'yn on the re- 
verse (series >s 2 fr/bull's head<; type 10) - could also 
be associated with one of the Hadrami rulers of the 
1" century A.D.: excavations at Bi'r 'All settlement 
revealed 43 pieces of such coins in the strata of the 
>lower< (BA-I) period of the site (see Table 2). Finds 
of square coinage were reported from the region of 
Shabwa including the ruins of the ancient Hadra- 
mawt capital, from al-Barira settlement in the Wadi 
Jirdan, from the ancient sites in the Wadi Hadra- 
mawt 22 . The strata of the >middle< (BA-II) period of 
Bi'r 'All (ancient Qam 1 ) revealed 261 pieces of such 
coins, the biggest number in the total coins' finds 
(see Tables 3 and 4). As we can judge from this evi- 
dence, the square coins of the series >j^r/bull's 
head< (type 10) were minted and circulated in 
Hadramawt during at least four hundred years 
without any visible changes in their iconography. 

The stratigraphy of coins' finds at Bi'r 'All set- 
tlement (ancient Qani') as well as tentative deci- 
phering of the obverse and reverse monograms al- 
lowed us to associate several series found exclu- 
sively in the strata of the >middle< (BA-II) period 
with Hadrami kings of the 3 rd century A.D. 



Thirty-two coins of the series >radiated head/ 
bull< (type 5.3) were found at the site in different 
areas in the strata of the >middle< (BA-II) period 
(see Tables 3 and 4) 23 . Its reverse bore the mono- 
gram consisting of two letters, which could be de- 
ciphered as initial letters of the name like 'IlT'adh 
or 'Ilriyam. As we know from the inscriptions, the 
sole rulers of the 3 rd century Hadramawt who bore 
such names were 'Ili'adh Yalut, son of 'Ammldha- 
khar, king of Hadramawt (c. 200?-225? A.D.) 
and 'Ilriyam Yadum, son of Yada'll Bayan (c 
262?-275? A.D.) 2 *. 'Ili'adh Yalut, son of 'Ammi- 
dhakhar, is the more famous of the two because of 
his alliance and then the war against the Sabaean 
king Sha'irum 'Awtar. We know his name from 
numerous inscriptions, and know also that he was 
defeated in several battles by Sabaeans who Finally 
carried him off as a prisoner to Marib 25 . Thus, we 
can suggest that 'Ili'adh Yalut, son of 'Ammidha- 
khar, king of Hadramawt, struck the coins belong- 
ing to our series >radiated head/bull< (type 5.3). 

The coins of the series >head/bull< (type 6.1) and 
>head/bull's head< (type 7.1) bore the monogram 
on the obverse, which could be deciphered as ini- 
tial letters of the name like Yada'll or Yada"ab. 
The numbers of finds of both series from Bi'r 'AB 
excavations are 22 and 3 pieces accordingly (see Ta- 
bles 3 and 4). According to epigraphic evidence 
there were several Hadrami kings of the 3 ni century 
A.D. who bore such names: Yada'll Bayan, son of 
Rabbishams (c. 245?-260? A.D.); his brother 
Yada"ab Bayan (c. 260?-262? A.D.); Yada"ab 
Ghaylan, son of Yada'll Bayan (c. 275?-285? 
A.D.), and possibly others 26 . As was stated by 
A. Jamme, according to al-'Uqlah texts Yada'll 
Bayan, son of Rabbishams, was the successor of 
'IlT'adh Yalut, son of 'AmmTdhakhar, and the 



11 Cf. A.V. Sedov, AAE 3 no. 2, 1992, 124. 

" Cf. Sedov, Moneci drevnego Hadramauta op.cit. (note 2) 
79. 

" See also above, note 17. 

14 Cf. A. Jamme, The Al-'Uqlah Texts, Documentation Sud- 
Arabe III (1963) 13 f. (different dates); K.A. Kitchen, 
Documentation for Ancient Arabia I. Chronological Frame- 
work and Historical Sources (1994) 224 f. 

" Cf. Ch.J. Robin, Sheba dans les inscriptions d'Arabie du 
Sud, in: Supplement au Dictionaire de la Bible (1996) 1 138. 

" Cf. Jamme op. cit. 1 3 f_; Kitchen op. cit. 225 f.; Robin, Sheba 
op.cit. 1135f. 



Hadramatpt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology 



171 



founder of the new Hadramawt dynasty 27 . It is 
very tempting to consider our series >head/bull< 
(types 6.1) and >head/bull's head< (type 7.1) as well 
as typologically close coins of the series >head/bull< 
(type 6.2) as issues of Yada'Tl Bayan, son of Rab- 
bishams, and/or his successors. 

Coins of the series >5 2 ^r/bull< (type 8.1) are not 
numerous in the Bi'r 'All finds: only three pieces 
were found in the strata of the >middle< (BA-II) 
period at the Area 4 and two more - on the surface 
of the site (see Tables 1 and 4). Probably, they rep- 
resent the coinage of the Hadrami rulers of the 2 nd 
century A.D. 

It seems, that Hadramawt royal coinage came to 
the end around the last quarter of the 3 rd century 
A.D., when Himyarites conquered the kingdom. 
But undoubtedly the Hadrami coins continued to 
circulate on the territory of the former independ- 
ent kingdom in the 4' 1 ' and even in the early 5 th cen- 
turies A.D. 

In addition to the Hadramawt coinage, Bi'r 
'All excavations revealed Sabaean and Himyarite 
series (see Table 1). Among the last ones the most 
numerous are small crude bronze fractions of the 
series with bucranium. Its obverse bore a male 
head facing to the right or left flanked by two sym- 
bols: symbol of 'Ilmaqah on the left and symbol 
of 'Athtar on the right. The reverse showed bucra- 
nium with long horns and plume between them 
facing front, monogram on the left or right, and 
symbol of 'Awam Temple on the right or left 
(Fig. 1, 12). Coins were struck on irregular thin 
slightly scyphate flans, 7-10 mm in diameter. The 
weights of the pieces were usually around or less 
than 1.0 g. 

Small crude bronze fractions of the series with 
bucranium were found at Shabwa, at the settle- 
ments in the Wadi Hadramawt, in Marib oasis 
(necropolis near 'Awam Temple), at Khor Ron 
(ancient Sumhuram). Coin hoards consisting of 
several hundreds of such coins are known from 
al-Jawf and Wadi Markha in Yemen, and even from 
Ethiopia 28 . At Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani') 
144 pieces of small crude bronze fractions of the 
series with bucranium were found in the >late< 
layers of the >middle< (BA-II) period dated be- 
tween the 4 th and 5 th centuries A.D. (see Table 4). 
Typologically such coins are the continuation of 
the late Sabaean silver and bronze series with 
bucranium of the 2 nd and mid 3" 1 centuries A.D. 



Apparently, the Himyarites borrowed the late 
Sabaean type for the local circulation. 

Thus, the stratigraphy of the coins' finds from 
Bi'r 'All settlement (ancient Qani') allows us to 
establish the sequence of Hadramawt series, and to 
determine more or less precise absolute dates for 
them (see Table 5). Using these data we can try to 
date now archaeological layers of different monu- 
ments. There is only one example - excavations at 
Khor Ron (ancient Sumhuram). 

The most striking result of the first two cam- 
paigns 29 is the presence among the coins' finds 
from the settlement of quite a big number of the 
early Hadramawt imitations (series >head/owl<; 
type 2): they constitute more than 25 % of the total 
numismatic finds (for instance, at Bi'r 'All the early 
Hadramawt imitations constitute only 1.1% of 
the total numismatic finds; see Table 1). We may 
assume that such a big concentration of coins dated 
close to the mid 2 -late 1" centuries B.C. pro- 
vides some additional evidence for the supposi- 
tion that a Hadrami settlement was existing at 
Khor Rorl prior to the foundation of the walled 
city of Sumhuram, i. e. prior to the late 1 st century 
B.C. 30 . 

The presence at Sumhuram of a number of coins 
of the late Himyarite series, i. e. small crude bronze 
fractions of the series with bucranium, is also very 
important. It seems that these coins were the 
smallest denomination of the Himyarite Empire, 
and were widely circulated throughout the area of 
its political hegemony. In addition to the confirma- 
tion of the absolute dating of the top strata at the 
site close to the early 4 th century A.D., the fact that 
such pieces were found not only at Bi'r 'All settle- 
ment (ancient Qani') and in Shabwa, the capital of 
the ancient Hadramawt, but even so far to the east 



27 Cf. Jamme op. cit. 1 0- 14; see also Ch. J. Robin, Les inscrip- 
tions d'al-Mi'sal et la chronologie de 1' Arabic meridionalle 
an III' siecle de l'cre chretienne, CRAIBL 1981, 327 f. 

28 Sedov, Moneti drevnego Hadramauta op. cit. (note 2) 152. 
19 Cf. A. Avanzini et al., Excavations and Restoration of the 

Complex of Khor Rori. MID's Interim Report 1999-2000 
(2000); idem, Excavations and Restoration of the Complex 
of Khor Rori. Interim Report October 2000-April 2001 
(2001). 
30 Cf. A. Avanzini -R. Orazi, The construction phases of 
Khor Rori's monumental gate, AAE 12 no. 2, 2001, 
249-259. 



172 Alexander Sedov 



strongly suggests that the entire kingdom includ- Address: • 

ing its eastern possessions was incorporated into Prof. Dr. Alexander Sedov, Institute of Oriental 

the economic system of the new state, the state Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, »/. Rozh- 

whose rulers bore now the title >king of Saba' and destvenka 12, Moscow 103777, Russia, sedov® 

dhu-Raydan, and Hadramawt, and Yamanat*. sed.msk.ru 



Hadramawt Coinage: Its Sequence and Chronology j 73 

(Alexander Sedov) 

JU (U^js ?J££*) </ jjj jji ui y^V'j (y^ Qani') ^ jju ii^uu ij*.jjll ijjftl ^AiLSSVI l^I J 

3jj5I Cjljjj JJ Ujjc ££j ,^11 tjaji\ tllLLLi ,j <ie ju> ijjj^a.j 4-iibjj ij*>ia. '*i*M — (jj «i-ii A*; ^ 
, J^^JI iilai. ^ Lyui V i SJj_£ui«!l (IlbjUill JjajJ JSl jl jjSI iLj Oljiill liltj »; '-■*■ tjiJ Jij .iifcij 
l>a«jl (Ac l^J J^M AjJ»J ^^) 0^" ^^ ' fJ Cyj .u^jj^ J»JjufiS 4ja.U (>« AjuiIuk (J jil Ijjli SjU iLuil jjj 
lijijiia, ^j l^jljSj IjSij jU ^1 diSLuJI Jjl lijlS Atl .6^>ia i.'CSUr ^lij <_ijJI j51j <-)>>. i,*ftUr. 
SJm 4jLt £i\ j £l jji l$la_» (Ja. Jiu Luij .lajj»jl lijUi.1 jj ujl '('■-* (jjll ijiiftl Uul Ud iijl iJSj ,jc » jUc 
jlli-l l| ^JiJI tilill tSlliSj ^jfrl (JU-Jb liSUJI i-iLSSI jUl. ^j o^J^I ^UJ» ^'j- 3 ill 1 .lAj^J i^U jfc_)i>.j 

jt ^j5uji o^uji (jjiii jaj u^j yij Qjiii ^ jjVi *fls-Ji ULuJi ,>>J ^ i#ijjs >u js -ul c_yj v 



Alexander Sima f 

JUDEN UND AL-'UZZA-VEREHRER 
Neue Lesung zweier altsiidarabischer Graffiti aus Saudi-Arabien 



Seit der letzten, unter dem Titel »Anmerkungen 
zu einigen jiingst publizierten Felsinschriften aus 
Saudi-Arabien* 1 1998 erschienenen Bestandsauf- 
nahme der aus der sudwestlichen Ecke Saudi- 
Arabiens stammenden altsiidarabischen Graffiti 
sind zwei weitere Sammlungen von sabaischen 
Felsinschriften und Graffiti aus dieser Region 
publiziert worden, die fur die altsiidarabische Epi- 
graphik von grofier Bedeutung sind. 

- Sa'id b. Fayiz Ibrahim as-Sa'ld, Nuqus 'arabiya 
ganubiya qadima min al-Birk (al-mamlaka al- 
'arablya as-sa'udlya), in: ad-Daratu 22/4 (1997) 
121-155; Index der Worter und Naraen 154 f. 
sowie 5 Seiten Faksimiles und eine Karte. 

- Khalid Mohammad Eskoubi, An Analytical 
Study of the Inscriptions from Ashen, al-Ma'- 
Iamat, and Dhahran al-Janub in the Southern 
Province. Archaeological Survey for the Year 
1412/1413H (1992/1993), Adal 15, 2000, 99-112 
Taf. 35-39. 

Letztere Publikation, die durch ein Ubermafi an 
Fehlern entstellt land vollig unbrauchbar geworden 
ist, enthalt zwei Graffiti, die - richtig gelesen - ein 
interessantes Licht auf die religionsgeschichtliche 
Situation Siidwestarabiens in den letzten Jahrhun- 
derten vor dem Islam werfen. 



Eskoubi 2000: C 1 (Foto ebenda Taf. 36 b) 

Fig. 1 

Diese Inschrift, die unter den von Eskoubi publi- 
zierten sicherlich die wichtigste darstellt, wurde 



in der editio princeps vollig verlesen. Eskoubis 
Lesung ysq' lyhwlyny ist ebenso unannehmbar wie 
seine Deutung. Tatsachlich ist zu lesen: 

yrfVybwdyn/ Yrf, der Jude 

Der Name Yrf ist im vorislamischen Arabien gut 
bezeugt — vgl. sabaisch yrf in MQ-al-Jifjif 1/1, 
minaisch yrf in M 28/1 = Ma'In 33 z , thamudisch 
yrf* in JS 53 1 aus al-'Ula - sowie in der Form Yarfa 
auch aus der klassisch-arabischen Literatur be- 
kannt 3 . Der Name yrf ist als Verkiirzung eines 
kompositen Namens yrf' + theophores Element 



Abbildungsnachweis: Umzeichnungen vom Verfasser. 

1 Wiener Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes 88, 
1998, 229-259. 

2 Diese Inschrift ist bislang nur aufgrund einer Kopie von 
J. Halevy bekannt. Die fragliche Passage lautet bkbr/ 
yrf'/f. . .] »unter dem Kablr (namens) Yrf'«. Von Mordt- 
maun und Hartmann wurde der Worttrenner am Ende 
ohne erkennbare Griinde zu lam, also yrf'fl}, korrigiert 
(vgl. Kommencar in RES). Im RES, wo dieser Text unter 
Nr. 2772 aufgenommen wurde, ist dieses lam zumindest 
noch eingeklammert, und der Kommentar weist darauf hin, 
dafi es sich nur um eine Konjektur handelt. Von G. Garbini 
wurde allerdings die Form yrf I - ohne jegliche Angaben 
zur >Herkunft< des lam - in seine »Iscrizioni minee« (1974) 
iibernommen (M 28). Dadurch, dafi diese Form in der jung- 
sten systematischen Behandlung des minaischen Onomasti- 
kons inkludiert wurde - s. S. F. al-Said, Die Personennamen 
in den minaischen Inschriften. Eine etymologische und 
lextkalische Studie im Bereich der semitischen Sprachen, 
Veroffentlichungen der Oriencalischen Kommission der 
Akademie der V/issenschafen und der Literatur Mainz 41 
(1995) 50 und 182 -, ist sie schliefllich zu einem >Faktum< 
geworden. Erst F. Bron, Inventaire des inscriptions sudara- 
biques III. Main (1998) 66, hat der korrekten Form yrf 
wieder zu ihrem Recht verholfen. 

3 W. Caskel, 6amharat an-nasab. Das genealogische Werk 
des Hisam Ibn Muhammad al-Kalbl II (1966) 591. 



176 



Alexander Sima f 



»Geheilt hat der Gott NN« zu deuten, vgl. thamu- 
disch yrf'l in JS 485 und 537 aus al-'Ula, alt-ara- 
maisch yrp'f und amurcitisch Ia-ar-pa^IM 5 (Streck 
2000, 197); hebr. yrf'l ist nur als Toponym, das 
jedoch zweifellos auf einen Personennamen zu- 
riickgeht 6 , belegt. Da der Name yrf' ebenso wie an- 
dere von der Wurzel *rf derivierte Namen im 
Friihnord- und Altsiidarabischen gut bezeugt ist, 
liegt kein Grund zur Annahme vor, dafi er (speziell 
im Fall des vorliegenden Graffito) aus dem nord- 
westsemitischen Raum entlehnt wurde. 

Die auf den Namen folgende Bezeichnung 
ybwd-y-n /yabudtyan/ >der Judex ist als Nisben- 
form auf -y zu dem K.ollektivumjyAf'a'Jrf- /yah Ad-/ 
»Juden« zu deuten. Aufgrund der Nunation (status 
determinatus) mufi die Form yhwdy-n als sabaisch 
klassifiziert werden. 

Obwohl diese Nisben-Singularform bislang nicht 
belegt war, konnte auf ihre Existenz doch aus der da- 
zugehorigen Nisben-Pluralform 'yhd-n /'ayhiidan/ 
»die Juden« (status determinatus) in der spatsabai- 
schen Inschrift MAFRAY-Hasi 1/4.5.13 8 zuriick- 
geschlossen werden. Die entsprechende Nisben- 
Singularform, die als *yhwdy- /yahudi-/ angesetzt 
werden konnte, war allerdings bislang epigra- 
phisch nicht belegt. Das Graffito Eskoubi 2000: 
C 1 brachte nun den ersten Beleg. Wahrend die 
Nisben-Singularform yahiidl auch aus dem Safaiti- 
schen' und Arabischen 10 bekannt ist, ist dort ein 
Nisbenplural der fur das Altsiidarabische cha- 
rakteristischen Form 'ayhud- (nach dem Schema 
'afiil-) unbekannt. Dieser genuin altsiidarabische 
Nisbenplural ist jedoch ins Ge'ez entlehnt worden, 
woraus dann dort wiederum retrograd die Singu- 
larform 'ayhitdiwl abgeleitet wurde". 

Palaographisch ist dieses Graffito in die spat- 
sabaische Periode zu datieren. 



Eskoubi 2000: C 2a (Foto ebenda Taf. 38 a) 



Fig. 2 



' zyn 



In der editio princeps wurde dieser Text whbwzyn 
gelesen und als »Whb and Zyn« gedeutet. Diese 



Fehllesung beruht wahrscheinlich auf der palao- 
graphischen Eigentiimlichkeit, dafi das ' einen 
horizontalen Querstrich aufweist und daher von 
Eskoubi falschlich als w gelesen wurde. An palao- 
graphischen Besonderheiten fallt weiters auf, dafi 
das z die aus dem alteren Lihyanischen sowie 
Thamudischen' (C, D und Hisma'isch) bekannte 
Form hat, die dem lateinischen H gleicht 12 . 

Der Name whb-'zyn enthalt als theophores Ele- 
ment den Namen der nordarabischen Gottin al- 
'Uzza 13 in seiner >sabaisierten< Form 'zy-nl'Vz- 



4 M. Maraqten, Die semitischen Personennzmen in den alt- 
und reichsaraiTuischen Inschriflen aus Vordenuien, Texce 
und Studien zur Orienulistik 5 (1988) 173. 

5 M. P. Streck, Das amurritische Onomastikon der altbabylo- 
nischen Zeit I. Alter Orient und Alws Testament 271/1 
(2000) 197. 

* W. Gesenius in: H. Dormer (Hrsg.), Hebraisches und Ara- 
maisches Handworterbuch fiber das Alte Testament H 11 
(1995) 499 b. 

' Die Kollekriva yh (w)d (vgl. arab. Yahid [a. coll.]) und ifaW 
(vgl. arab. Hud [n. coll.]) >Juden« sind im Spatsabaischen nur 
in den Komposita rb-yhd in CIH 543/2, rb-bd in Ja 1028/12 
und rb-hvtd in Ry 515/5 bezeugt. 

1 C. Robin, Du paganisme au monotheisms, in: ders. (Hrsg.), 
L* Arabie antique de Karibll a Mahomet. Nouvelles donnees 
sur I'histoire des Arabes grace aux inscriptions, Revue du 
Monde Musulman et de la Meditcrranee 61, 1983, 146; W. W. 
Miiller in: S. Hopkins, The Words for »Jew(s)« in Arabic, 
lOS 17 (1997) 20 Anm. 30; S. A. Frantsouzoff, A Gczerah- 
Decree from Ancient Southern Arabia (new approach to 
the interpretation on MAFRAY-hfasl 1), Aram 8 (1996) 
299-306; C.J. Robin, Les inscriptions de Hast, Raydan 7, 
2001, 182-191. 

' Belege fur das Kollektivum 'lybd »die Juden« und die Nuba 
b-yhdy >der Jude« bei M. C. A. Macdonald, Herodian Echos 
in the Syrian Desert, in: S. Bourke - J. P. Descoeudres 
(Hrsg.), Trade, Contact, and the Movement of Peoples in the 
Eastern Mediterranean. Studies in Honour of J. B. Hen- 
nesssy (1995) 285. 

'° In der altarabischen Poesie vgl. z. B. "A'U IV 10 (Ed. Geyer) 
wa-fabba'a fafa yabiidiyuba // wd-*Abnudbi wd-'aUybi 
butumun •topasgelben (Wein), sein Judc (d. h. der Schcnken- 
besitzcr) ging umher und holte ihn hervor, an dem noch die 
Siegel waren* und den einzigen koranischen Beleg in 3,67 mi 
kana 'Ibrahimu yahUdiytut wa-la nafriniyin 'Abraham 
war weder ein Judc noch ein Christ*. 

" Vgl. W. Leslau, Comparative Dictionary of Geez (1991) 
626 b. 

11 Vgl. M. C. A. Macdonald, Reflections on the Linguistic Map 
of Pre-Islamic Arabia, AAE 11, 2000, 34 Tab. 3. 

" Vgl. M. C. A. Macdonald - L. Nehme, EI 2 (2000) X 
967b-968b. 



JUDEN UND AL-TJzZA-VeREHRER 



177 



zayan/". Der komposite Personenname, der »Gabe 
der 'Uzzayan« bedeutet, ist somit - trotz der etwas 
eigentiimlichen Form mancher Buchstaben - als 
altsiidarabisch zu klassifizieren. 

Im Altsiidarabischen treten Namen mit dem 
theophoren Element -'zyn erst (und ausschliefi- 
lich) im Mittelsabaischen und insgesamt recht sel- 
ten auf. Folgende Namen sind m. W. bezeugt: 

whb-'zyn (mask., Fa 3/3 : Sirwah, Zeit des Ns'krb 
Y'mn Yhrhb) 



'mt-'zyn (fem., CIH 558/6-7: Herkunft unbe- 

kannt, 1.-3. Jh. n.Chr.) 

(fem., Zayd 'Inan 24: Vm/Marib, mit- 

telsabaisch) 
rtd- 'zyn (mask., Ashmolean Museum 1957.1 7/6: 

'wm/Marib, ca. 1.-3. Jh. n. Chr.) 

(mask., Fa 3/3: Sirwah, Zeit des Ns'krb 

Y'mn Yhrhb) 
'bd-'zyn (mask., Ja 1012 m: siidwestliches Saudi- 

Arabien 15 , mittelsabaisch) 



14 Nach Ausweis von Ja 2138 wird in Qaryac al-Faw schon die 
genuin nord-arabische Form 'l-'zy /'al-'Uzzay/ verwendct 
(vgl. zu dieser Inschrift zuletzt N. Nebes, Die Konscruk- 
cionen mit /fa-/ im Altsiidarabischen. Syntaktische und epi- 
giaphische Untersuchungen, Veroffentlichungen der Orien- 
talischen Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften 
und der Literatur Mainz 40 [1995] 55 Anm. 117), bzw. in 
Personennamen die Form -l-'zy gebraucht; vgl. den Namen 
'bd-l-'zy bei A. R. al-Ansary, Qaryat al-Faw: A Portrait of 
Pre-Islamic Civilisation in Saudi Arabia (1982) 143 Abb. 3. 

15 Die Herkunftsangabe Qariyat Qadimat der editio princeps 
kann ich nicht lokalisieren. 



178 Alexander Sima t 



Ujjill JLa»i*Jl JLyjull ^USAj ijjjuJI <> o**-jl S W <aW J* 
(Alexander Sima) 



; L yaii« 



ujc. ujia. ^j i-ii.BSI j5 tliJlS iviill **>*JI **J»1I IjtiSlb liUjujiJt jAIj ^ji-J . f Ai. f \i 2000 f^ v> 
t Ljjlj uA±A »U Jc VI J^B V ^311 > i^a^^ 1 ^ *5U*J»_jij «3»tjl oV I jliij .**Jj«~I! *#j»fl 4SUJ 
f Jj^) ,^CJj (Ja-jB • JjVI f-jM U ,ia&yu » JJ— ^i Oj*^i £ jj J^j li» ^' J*" < *-*-VI £* lj^ iiloli 

(j* "is-»W Jj«*1I iiji-J JjVI j»LSH j» I i» ji«ij .uJj«ll :jl (yhwdyn 6 tf J J -* <f ) *"■*■ i* 1 ^ tJ^ (yrf 
."u£>- (**iyi) **»" :i/l (Whb-'zyn if j £ / v -*j) ^4 J»jl» • <^ r-J 1 U J • < -* sa **l«J> *#j«» 
^J>-» «* - 15>> - ^J^ 1 4 J 1 ^ 5 V] H J° *JLi«lj VJjH ^ JtK*< ti jh r*^ 1 ^ '-^ ,J41 " '^* j^hj 
i (ifj>i jl Sj* l«i> JS1 J*li o^J^ fl f *&>• •'••J ^<uj lA" (J 3 * *^*^ ^ <ft I jliij .^-v 3 ** ^#>^ *#_*J 
L&a. ,>• ,^ Lu I jLSil ^ujl t-ijiJI Jib Ljjia. ^j iliflS jS ^jSUiB 4#j*S i^Jyi tilt JjL^. JL j-j'-*' t_^ji 



Peter Stein 



LINGUISTIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO SABAEAN CHRONOLOGY 



1. Introduction 

Until today, the periodisation of the history of 
Epigraphic South Arabian, and especially of the 
Sabaic language, has belonged to the less con- 
sidered fields of South Arabian linguistics. Indeed, 
some tendencies of linguistic development within 
the Sabaic language have been known for long, 
which led to the rough division into the three 
periods Early (or Archaic), Middle, and Late (or 
Recent) Sabaic 1 . A collection of representative 
linguistic characteristics, however, has not been 
undertaken so far, neither has been a fairly exact 
historical placement of the change from the early 
to the middle period of the Sabaic language. 

In the course of my research on Sabaic phono- 
logy and morphology 2 , I have come across some 
grammatical phenomena that can help to determine 
the transition from the Early to the Middle Sabaic 
period more precisely and also to fix it historically. 
In a first section of my paper, I intend to present 
the most prominent of these grammatical features. 
Subsequently, I will try to arrange the concerning 
inscriptions in our present chronological system, 
and to look for possible historical reasons for the 
linguistic change that is reflected in those texts. 
Finally, in a last section, I want to deal with the 
question to what extent such grammatical features 
may be relevant to our dating of the inscriptions. 



2. Archaic contra Middle Sabaic 



2.1. Recent Findings in Sabaic Linguistics 

In several parts of Sabaic grammar, a break can be 
observed between an older practice and a younger 
one. The numerals for »three« and »six«, for exam- 



ple, present a writing sit and sdt respectively in 
older texts, while we find tit and st in younger 
inscriptions. Nevertheless, these numerals are still 
too rarely attested in the period under considera- 
tion (cf. the references in tabular A and B). Some 
other peculiarities, however, which so far have not 
been noticed in this relation, occur much more 
frequently and thus may help us to answer our 
question. I want to point at four of them in the 
following. 

The first one is the preposition/conjunction 
'd(y), which is always written defectively in early 
texts {'d, 30 cases), while in later times plene writing 



Source of illustrations: All figures made by the author. 
Sigla of inscriptions are cited according to DS; in addition to this 
cf. K. A. Kitchen, Documentation for Ancient Arabia II. Biblio- 
graphical Catalogue of Texts (2000). The inscriptions 
Gr 48-348 are published by G.M. Bauer -A. G. Lundin, Epi- 
graficeskie pamjatniki drevnego Iemena, Juznaja Aravija 2/2 
(1998). 

Apart from the abbreviations in ABADY 9 (2002) the following 
are used: 
Wissmann, Sabaerreich H. v. Wissmann, Die Geschichte des 

Sabaerreichs und der Feldzug des 

Aelius Gallus, in: ANEW II 9 (1976) 

308-544 
Wissmann, Saba H. v. wissmann, Die Geschichte von 

Saba* II. Das Grofireich der Sabaer 

bis zu seinem Ende im fruhen 4. Jh. 

v. Chr., Hrsg. von Waiter W. Muller, 

SBWien 402, 1982 

1 Cf., for example, A. F. L. Beeston, Sabaic Grammar (1984) 2. 
This periodisation also tends to be fixed to formalities like 
the ductus of script (e. g. boustrophedon) or the religion of 
the authors of the inscriptions (as the Late Sabaic inscrip- 
tions of the monotheistic period). 

2 The results have recently been published as P. Stein, Unter- 
suchungen zur Phonologie und Morphologie des Sabaischen 
(2003). 



180 



Peter Stein 



is found {'dyf. Since there are practically no excep- 
tions from this rule 4 , the assumption of a grammati- 
cal change at this point is fairly probable 5 . 

A quite similar development is shown by the 
relative pronoun d forming part of the composed 
conjunction l-k-d, which is written in older texts 
only in this manner (more than 25 examples in 
16 inscriptions) 6 , while the younger inscriptions 
regularly show plene writing l-k-dy (7 examples). 

Another, clearly morphological, characteristic 
for a change in linguistic usage is the formation of 
the infinitive. The hitherto existing approaches to 
the question of rules for the attachment of -n to the 
infinitive (cf. hsqr besides hsqm) cannot be dis- 
cussed here. My recent investigation of the whole 
Sabaic corpus, however, has led to the conclusion 
that the attachment of the afformative -n to the in- 
finitive is subject to the following rules 7 : Concern- 
ing the central region of the domain of the Sabaic 
language around Marib and the adjacent highlands 
to the west of it 8 , in the Middle Sabaic period, -n is 
regularly attached to the infinitive of derived verbal 
stems. In other words, the afformative -n serves as a 
marker of the derived stems in contrast to the un- 
marked base stem (cf. e.g. 'win »to bring back" 
opposite 'wl »to get back*; hs' mn »to sell« opposite 
I'm »to buy«)'. In contrast to this, Early Sabaic 
forms exclusively unaugmented infinitives of the 
derived stems, for which I have found more than a 
dozen examples. Looking at the evidence of the re- 
gion around Marib and Sirwah 10 , we can say that the 
beginning of the attachment of -n to the infinitive 
seems to be an innovation, in contrast to the earlier 
practice which basically does not know such kind 
of infinitive formation. 

The last example, which is, however, not reliable 
to the same extent, is the assimilation of n to a 
following consonant. The fact of assimilation as 
such is beyond any doubt, as the appearance of 
defective writings like bt »daughter« or the plural 
'fs »souls«, besides plene writings bnt and 'nfs re- 
spectively, proves". Well, as far as I can see, in Early 
Sabaic texts only plene writings of such forms 
occur. Apart from probably one example 12 , there is 
no proof in writing for assimilation of n to a fol- 
lowing consonant in the Early Sabaic inscriptions. 
Considering the dominance of defective writings in 
the Middle and Late Sabaic period, we are urged to 
assume a break with the earlier practice in this case, 



1 In my opinion, it is improbable that this is an exclusively 
graphical phenomenon because defective writing of long 
final vowels in Sabaic is expected only in the case of /a/. 
Final /u/ and l\l are regularly written by means of semi 
vowels w and y respectively. - Only the dual ending of 
nominal and verbal forms in early texts of the archaic 
period is written defectively, which can be considered as an 
argument for the reconstruction of the original Sabaic dual 
ending in /-a/, 

' Merely some texts of the Middle Sabaic period from the 
Radmanite area and the Wadi Sudayf show defective writ- 
ing 'i: YMN 9/4, YMN 11/2, R 3958/5, MAFRAY-al- 
Mi'sil 2/5 (besides 'dy in line 10), and Baha' 1/3 (cf. 
I. Gajda - M. Arbach - F. Bron, Semitica 48, 1999, 103-107), 
as well as Silwi-aJ-Sudayf 1/5 and Munchen 94-317880/2 
(W. Seipel [ed.], Jemen. Kunst und Archaologie im Land der 
Konigin von Saba', exhibition cat. Vienna [1998] no. 213). 
Cf . also C 547/7 from Hiram. The inscriptions of the men- 
tioned regions present other peculiarities differing from 
Middle Sabaic 'Standards which are to be connected with 
archaic practice as welL 

' By the way it should be mentioned that in the formula 
»from (the foundations) up to (the roof)« occurring in 
building inscriptions also the meaning »from« in older texts 
is expressed by a preposition [In) different from the one 
regularly used in later texts (bit). 

' Among them R 3945/2.16 bn k-4 and 0-k-d respectively, 
the latter form also in Y(ala).90.DA 2/4, Gl 1520/1, and Gl 
1379/5 = Gr 171/5. 

7 Cf. in detail P. Stein, Zur Morphologic des s ahaisr h r n In- 
finitivs, Or 71, 2002, 393-414, where older literature on the 
topic is also discussed. 

1 The regions under Radmanite influence, however, do not 
follow this rule. Infinitive formation in this area has rather 
to be connected with Early Sabaic practice. 

9 A similar practice is found in Aramaic (cf . e. g. the Syriac 
infinitives maqtoli, metqtali etc. opposite mtqud). - The 
quantity of exceptions from this rule, numbering a little less 
than two dozen, is quite irrelevant considering the immense 
corpus of inscriptions known from the region and time 
concerned. Only the two verbs b'n and bkms show some 
more exceptions from this rule, which, nevertheless, may be 
explained as negligence in writing (more details and refer- 
ences are given in Stein op.cit. 400 ff.). 

10 In the early inscriptions from the highlands no forms arc 
attested relating to this. 

" Further examples are verbal and nominal forms of derived 
stems, first of all the H-stem, of verba I n, like bqfa »they 
captured* and mhkrm ^someone who damages*, besides 
bnq4 and mhnkrm respectively. 

13 The only exception is (following the common interpreta- 
tion) ybqm (*NQAl\ cf. DS s.v.) in R 3945/18. In my 
opinion, a different derivation (e. g. from the root QWM 
•erect, establish') cannot completely be excluded. 

" The occasional plene writings in younger texts, however, do 
not allow a very exact historical delimitation of the different 
writings. Indeed, a defective writing necessarily indicates 
assimilation of n, but on the contrary, plene writing does 
not necessarily indicate non-assimilation. 



Linguistic Contributions to Sabaean Chronology 



181 



Finally, there are some additional features whose 
difference between the two periods is more due to 
stylistic than to grammatical reasons, as, for exam- 
ple, the use of the temporal conjunction b-kn in 
younger texts instead of the more archaic ywm, 
or the use of the plural 'wld- »offspring« before a 
pronominal suffix instead of wld-, the latter being 
almost exclusively used in texts of the early period. 
Another example is the verbal stem used for the 
expression »to complete* in building inscriptions, 
which is always sqr in older texts (cf. e.g. R 3915/2), 
but hsqr(n) in younger ones (e.g. F 77/2 f.). 



2.2. Delimiting the Features within Language 
History 

After having presented some of the outstanding 
grammatical phenomena, I now want to deal with 
the question whether the single phases of change are 
connected with each other. In one simple question: 
did the breaks within each single phenomenon 
occur at different times, (and thus independently 
from each other), or at the same time? In order to 
answer this question it is necessary to arrange the 
inscriptions under consideration from a historical 
and paleographical point of view. The following 
tabulars compiled for this purpose contain the evi- 
dence we spoke about, arranged in two large blocks 
(A and B) according to the provenance of the in- 
scriptions. 

Comments on the Following Tabulars: 

The chronological order of the inscriptions is based 
mainly on paleographic characteristics of their script 
following the historical system of H. v. Wissmann 14 
with the aid of the paleography of J. Pirenne 15 and 
results of my own research. To illustrate the arrange- 
ment of the tabulars, I have compiled the paleo- 
graphic figures 1 and 2 of selected inscriptions, 
whose order is the same as in the tabulars . 
B: inscription written boustrophedon (b) or not (-) 
-ass.: assimilation of » not ppressed (» occurring in 
script) 

+ass.: assimilation of n expressed by n disappearing 
in script 

'd(y), k-d(y), llt/tlt: writing of the forms in the older 
and younger period respectively 
inf. -0 : unaugmented formation of the infinitive of 
derived stems 



inf. -n: formation of the infinitive of derived stems 
by adding the afformative -n 

Comments on Several Inscriptions: 

Tabular A: 

If the tribe d-MNHYTM mentioned in GlA 744/1 
is to be connected with the toponym MNHYTM of 
R 3945/15, the provenance of the inscription may be 
located in the Gawf 17 . 

Tabular B: 

The provenance (Marib) of C 570 is probable due to 
topographical details mentioned in the text 18 ; the 
clan name HSG (line 10) is also found in another 
inscription from Marib (Foster-Marib 1/1). - 
FB-Mahram Bilqis 1 is published by F. Bron and 
J. Ryckmans 1 '. - In respect to the provenance of 
CIH 562 cf. Wissmann 20 . - F 61 and R 3913 are to 
be connected with each other because of the same 
author. - The entry of R 3915 is, hesitating, due to 
the clan name 'LFQM mentioned in line 1, which 
else is attested in texts from Marib only (J 629/33, 
R 4434, and R 4455). - R 3911 is surely originating 
from Marib as is shown by the name of the oasis 
'BYN (line 4) especially. - R 4627, published with- 
out facsimile, is classified by J. Pirenne 21 as style E 3 
according to an impression by E. Glaser. 

14 Wissmann, Sabaerreich; Wissmann, Saba. - Citing the Wiss- 
mannic chronological data in this paper does not mean that I 
completely accept his absolute chronology in all details 
(some critical remarks on this system are given further 
below). Even though the absolute dating of the inscriptions 
is not that fixed as Wissmann's year-dates might suggest, at 
least his relative chronology of that time is the only compre- 
hensive one we have so far. 

15 J. Pirenne, Paleographie des inscriptions sud-arabes. Contri- 
bution a la chronologie et a l'histoire de FArabie du Sud an- 
tique I. Des origines jusqu'a 1'epoque himyarite (1956). 

16 I am grateful to N. Nebes who placed a photograph of the 
inscription C 400 from the Bar'an Temple in Marib at my 
disposal. - Photographs of some of the building inscriptions 
of the 'Awam Temple wall have recently been published by 
W. D. Glanzman, Clarifying the Record: The Bayt 'Awwam 
Revisited, PSAS 29, 1999, 73-88. 

17 Cf. A. H. al-Sheiba, Die Ortsnamen in den altsudarabischen 
Inschriften, in: ABADY 4 (1987) 55. 

" Cf. e.g. W. W. Muller, in: TUAT I 3 (1983) 276 f. 
" F. Bron -J. Ryckmans, Semirica 49, 1999, 161-169. 

10 Wissmann, Sabierreich 390. 

11 Pirenne op.cir. 208. 306. 



182 

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Peter Stein 












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Fig. 1 Inscriptions from the Central Yemeni Highlands (and of unknown provenance) 



At first glance already, it becomes clear that the 
change of all mentioned phenomena from the older 
towards the younger practice takes place within 
two centuries, i. e. from the first half of the 4 to the 
first half of the 2 nd century B.C. according to the 
chronology of Wissmann. All inscriptions dating 
prior or subsequent to this period (and therefore 
not occurring in the tabulars), exclusively contain 
older or, apart from a few exceptions 22 , exclusively 
contain younger phenomena respectively. Con- 
cerning the situation of findings in the highlands, 
however, it has to be noticed that extensive texts 
containing forms of relevance older than the listed 
ones about 300 B.C. have not yet been attested. 
Inspite of this, regarding the tables, several features 
can be detected: 

1. While in the texts from Marib and §irwah the 
>old< phenomena predominate and changes oc- 
cur very slowly, we find quite the contrary in the 
highlands, where we have a predominance of the 
>younger< phenomena from the very beginning. 

2. In the region of Marib and §irwah the >old< phe- 
nomena survive longest. 

3. Apart from one >runaway< (J 557) 25 , the >younger< 
phenomena in Marib-§irwah occur just at the 
beginning of the i' 6 century, hence at the same 
time as in the inscriptions from the highlands. 

4. While in the region of Marib-§irwah in this time 
the definitive transition takes place from bou- 



strophedon to non-boustrophedon writing, we 
do not find any boustrophedon written inscrip- 
tion from the highlands any more 24 . 

All these points lead to the assumption that the 
grammatical innovations discussed above originate 
from the Central Yemeni Highlands. From there 
they seem to have spread down towards the old 
centres, namely Marib and Sirwah, where they, step 
by step, overlapped the archaic language spoken in 
these areas until that time. Along with these gram- 
matical innovations, a new ductus of script came 
into use, the most remarkable characteristic of 
which is the final loss of boustrophedon writing 25 . 



u There are several plene writings of assimilated n (as already 
noted above) and some cases of //{ in Middle Sabaic texts, 
which may be considered as some kind of archaism. Note, 
however, the Late Sabaic v-k'4 in B. ASwal 1/5, C 541/ 
103.114, and J 1028/4. 

" Which shall be dealt with later in paragraph 4. 

14 The latest inscription written boustrophedon known from 
the highlands seems to be Gr 226 from 'Itwa, classified as 
Pircnne's style C 1 by the editors; cl. also R 4347 (written 
in a rough ductus), related by Pirenne op. cit 170, to her 
paleographic style D 2. 

" Another typical feature is the compact ductus of the letters, 
which leads, in addition to certain irregularities, Wissmann, 
Sabaerreich 388, to the statement, these inscriptions repre- 
sent the >Beginn der Verwilderung der Steinmetzschrifa. 



Linguistic Contributions to Sabaean Chronology 



183 



H.UHBMO U 



Y h h A i? H T • I ' )) 

Y T ih h A (i It ? ° § - ) 



1 8 



Y Y hSNW A rfAH ? • * • ) H 51 



Y Y h h A rt 

Y Y «i h rt ri 

Y T h P, rf 

Y T h 

Y H li if 

r s s h a 

Y ".h h 

1 \ 

Y Y \ H A 



H T 
H ? 



> 

) 

)) 

)> 

) 

) 

)) 

)) 



•I 1 

h ail 
h aa 

a 
j 
4 as 



T S b A 



■I 8 



3a 552 

CIH 955*418 
5 CIH 563*956 






) 



1 • } • ) H i 



3a 554 



Da 550 



) CIH 570 

I RES 3951 



3a 400 
CIH 376 
MAFRAY-nabniyyaZ 
CIH 400 
GI11D0 
RES 3913 
RES 3911 
CIH 659 

3a 551 
RES4o26,a 1093 etc 

Fa 2 



Fig. 2 Inscriptions from Marib, Sirwah (as well as the Gawf) 



Against the background of this evidence, we are 
now able to re-define the limit between Early and 
Middle Sabaic. Following the absolute chronology 
of Wissmann, the Early Sabaic idiom is proved to 
be in use as far as the beginning of the 2 nd century 
B.C. 26 . From the beginning of the 3 rd century, 



1 In marginal regions only (such as the Radmanite area and 
the regions north to the Gawf), typical features of Early 
Sabaic (especially the regularly unaugmented infinitive and 
the preposition 'd, cf. above n. 4. 8) are found far in the 
middle period, too. It seems quite possible that these pecu- 
liarities are based on a continuity of the language spoken in 
these areas. 



184 



Peter Stein 





Dal 

Wiss. 


ing 
Pir. 


B 


>01d< Phenomna 
-ass. 'A k-A sit inf.-0 


>Young< Phenomena 
+ass. 'Ay k-dy tk inf.-n 


Gr 116 






- 




M 


R4176 


(295) 




- 


• • • 


• • • 


C37 


(295) 


D3 


- 




• 


C337 


(295) 


D3 


- 


• 


• 


C 338 


(295) 




- 




• 


Ra42 


(270) 


El 


- 


• • 




Hadaqan 1+2 






- 




• 


Gr 120 






- 


• 




Gr 119 






- 


• 




Gr 14 






- 




■ 


Gr 125 






- 


■ 




Gr217 






- 




• 


GU379 = Gr 171 






- 


• 


• 


*G1 A 744 






- 


• 




Gl 1220 = Gr 166 






- 


? 




Radt 1973, 89 










• 


*C594 








• 




Gl 1591 and 1592 






- 




■ 


C355 






- 


• 




»Ry 366 




E3 


- 




• 


Ra 10 






- 




• 


YM386 






- 




• 


M.-Qutra 1 






- 




■ ■ • 


Gr 157 






- 




« • 


Rob Rayda 1 






- 




• 


R4651 






- 




• 


♦YM470 






- 


• 




*C211 






- 




« 



A. Inscriptions from the Central Yemeni Highlands - and (*) of unknown provenance 



Linguistic Contributions to Sabaean Chronology 



185 



« 


Da 
Wiss. 


Pir. 


B 


>01d< Phcnomna 
-ass. 'd k-d sit inf.-0 


>Young< Phenomena 
+ass. 'dy k-dy tit inf.-n 


C 955 + 418 


(390) 


B2 


b 






C 563 + 956 


(375) 


C2 


b 


• 




J 557 


(362) 








• 


J 556 












J 555 


(350) 




b 






J 554 


(350) 






• 




C 375= J 550 


(328) 




b 






C 570 




C4 


b 


• • ? 


• 


R3951 


(295) 


D 1 


b 


• 




FB-M.Bilqis 1 






b 


• 


• 


J 400 






b 


• 




C 562 


(270) 


E2 


b 


• 




C 601 


(245) 


E2 


- 


• 


• 


*M.-Mabniyya 2 






- 


• 




C400 






- 




• 


Gl 1100 






- 


• 




R3913 




E3 


- 


• 




F61 






- 






R3915 




E 3 


- 






R3911 




E 3 


- 






C 659 




E3 


- 






C 374=] 551 


(200) 








• 


Gl 1532 






- 




• 


R4626 


(175) 




- 




• 


Gl 1093 + Dupl. 


(175) 


E 3 


- 


• 




[R4627 




E3] 


- 


• 




*K 4668 


• 




- 




• 


F77 






- 




• 


F2 








■ 




Rob Digue 1 






- 




• 



B. Inscriptions from Marib and Sirwah - as well as (*) the Gawf 



186 



Peter Stein 



however, the younger language, which we already 
can call Middle Sabaic due to the continuity of the 
grammatical features, is gaining increasing influ- 
ence. The fact that this innovation seems to origi- 
nate from the Central Yemeni Highlands raises the 
question, since when and to what extent this lan- 
guage had been existing there before. Or, in other 
words: did some Early Sabaic similar to the one 
spoken in Marib and the Gawf ever exist in the 
highlands? The short inscriptions and fragments 
known so far from there do not provide any evi- 
dence in this connection due to the complete lack 
of relevant forms 27 . Consequently, according to 
our present knowledge, there is no argument 
against the assumption that the origin of Middle 
Sabaic is to be looked for in the Central Yemeni 
Highlands. Therefore, we have to proceed from the 
contemporary existence of several Sabaic dialects, 
differing from each other in particularities, during 
the 1" millennium B.C. Finally, one of them has 
prevailed over the other ones - under conditions 
we want to look at in the following paragraph. 



3. The Historical Context 

Considering this extensive change of language 
within quite a short time, the question arises, 
what external reasons may have led to such 
change. Looking at the political constellations of 
this period - as far as they can be reconstructed -, 
we come across another remarkable change: the 
shift from the period of the »Mukarribs of Saba'« 
towards the one of the »Kings of Saba'«. Without 
discussing all the problems of the chronology of 
this period here, I want to point at least at some 
specific facts which can contribute to answer our 
question. 

It is surely of common opinion 28 that the last 
Sabaean ruler bearing the title »Mukarrib of Saba'« 
(mkrb sb^ was the Yada"il Bayyin bin Yita"amar 
Watar mentioned in the inscriptions C 634 and 
Sirwah 1 , to whom Wissmann 2 ' attributes the refer- 
ence number (394) B.C. The earliest inscriptions 
mentioning the title »King of Saba'« (mlk sb"), 
however, are, apart from two doubtful, possible 
exceptions 30 , to be dated into the beginning of the 
3 rd century B.C. only 3 '. From the century between 
the discussed periods, only rulers without royal 
title occur in the inscriptions. 



Considering the silence of sources, we might be 
tempted to leave this century as some kind of >dark 
age<, in which the shift from one sort of rule to 
another takes place under largely unknown cir- 
cumstances. But there are still the two attestations 
of »Kings of Marib« [Omlk mryb] in J 557 and 
C 37 [the latter inscription, in addition, is written 
by a »King of Sum'ay* (mlk sm'y)]. Such a kind 
of local royal titles is rather unusual in Sabaean 



" Only the parallel occurrence of Early and Middle Sabaic 
phenomena in some inscriptions of the period under con- 
sideration here afford some hints at the actual existence of 
Early Sabaic features in the region. Nevertheless, the use 
of some kind of supra-regional standard language within 
the inscriptions besides a different vernacular cannot be 
excluded. 

" Cf. e.g. Wissmann, Saba 234 ff„ and C. Robin, Sheba H. 
Dans les inscriptions d'Arabie du sud, in: Supplement au 
Dictionnaire de la Bible, Fasc. 70 (1996) 1125. 

" Wissmann, Saba 329-339, 

M The Yita"amar Watar bin Yada"il Darib mentioned in the 
dedicatory inscription C 490 from the 6awf is ranged by 
Wissmann, Saba 3 IS, about (407), as father of the last 
mkrb mentioned above, due to historical reasons. Neither 
photo nor facsimile of this inscription is known (Wissmann, 
Sabiierreich 428. 441, however, places this king about the 
beginning of the Christian era). Likewise, the boustrophe- 
don written inscription R 4089, probably from Nagran, 
mentioning a [Yada"il Bayy]in, King of Saba', in line 3 
(completed according to line 2) is dated about (390) for 
historical reasons. The (rough) ductus of its script, however, 
seems to speak more for a later dating (especially the widen- 
ing of the letter shafts of Q, S, Y, and H; cf. ibidem 339 ff. 
and 328 f.; also Pirenne op. ciL 170: style D 2). Another 
example might be found in the boustrophedon written in- 
scription J 400 B (A. Jamme, Miscellanies d'ancient arabe 
XII [1982] 30-36 with pi. 1) on a bronze statue from Marib, 
which mentiones a »Yada"il Bayyin, King of Saba' « (with- 
out filiation) in line 15. Although this inscription is usually 
dated earlier (cf. the date »6 J> century< proposed in Seipel 
op. cit. [n. 4] 284 ff. no. 139), its paleography tends to con- 
tradict this, cf. the rectangular »box« of '. S, and K reaching 
only half the letter's height, the spread M, ' and N showing 
acute angles, Q, Y, H, and tf showing widening of the letter 
shafts in several cases, and R tending to a boomerang form. 
All these are specific characteristics of the paleographic 
style III of Wissmann, Saba 328 f., with some tendencies 
towards style IV, which recommends a dating of the inscrip- 
tion into the 4* may be even the 3" 1 , century B.C. The lat- 
ter suggestion would connect the inscription to the Yada"il 
Bayyin bin Karib'il Watar of (270) B.C. (Wissmann, Sabiier- 
reich 390). 

" Karib'il Watar bin Yija"amar (R 395 1, C 37, R 4624), accord- 
ing to wissmann, Sabiierreich 389 f., dating about (295) B.C.; 
in regard of his successors cf. ibidem 390 ff. 



Linguistic Contributions to Sabaean Chronology 



187 



history because the name of the realm »Saba'« is 
regulady expressed in the titles in all periods (mkrb 
sb', mlk sb ' etc.). Therefore, a title »King of Marib* 
in contrast to »King of Saba'« would imply an 
immense loss of political power and influence by 
the Sabaean kings, especially when used in the 
capital of the kingdom itself (as J 557 shows). 
Equally, the adoption of a royal title by a local 
ruler in the highlands (C 37) seems to reflect a situ- 
ation in which the rulers of Marib have lost their 
control over these areas. 

Looking back at the great change within the 
Sabaic language and script discussed above, which 
took place at about the same time, we may come to 
the conclusion that these changes altogether are 
caused by the same occasion. During the first half 
of the 4 th century B. C. 52 , the kingdom of Saba' had 
to suffer a serious defeat not only by the Qatabani- 
ans but also by the Minaeans, which subsequently 
led to the rise of these two kingdoms to the pre- 
dominate political powers in southwest Arabia. 
Especially the advance of the Minaeans southward 
may have caused larger turbulences and move- 
ments among the population of the highlands as 
well as of the Gawf, whose only way to avoid was 
to penetrate the regions to the east by taking 
advantage of the actual weakness of the Sabaean 
rulers 33 . One can imagine that such a movement of 
population would have brought along a shift of the 
established borderlines of the spoken languages 
and dialects. Anyhow, the acceptance of the Middle 
Sabaic features in Marib and the adjacent regions 
suggests that a large amount of population from 
the highlands infiltrated, or even conquered 34 , the 
heart of the old Sabaean kingdom, settling there 
and completely altering the cultural and social 
structure of their new homeland. The already 
noted, but not specified, suggestion, that the origin 
of the changes from the Early to the Middle Sabaic 
Period has to be looked for in the highlands, now 
comes a bit closer to consolidation. 



4. On the Relevance of Grammatical 
Features for Chronology 

Finally, I want to demonstrate by means of an 
actual example that grammatical phenomena can 
and should be referred to for dating single inscrip- 
tions. As we have seen, the earliest characteristics 



of Middle Sabaic grammar are attested in texts dat- 
ing from the beginning of the 3 century B.C. - 
with one exception: the already mentioned J 557, a 
building inscription at the 13 th layer of the outer 
wall of the 'Awam Temple or Mahram Bilqis in 
Marib, which contains, (according to the reading 
by A. Jamme) 35 , two infinitives augmented by -n — 
a typical characteristic of the Middle Sabaic period. 
Wissmann arranges this inscription along with the 
adjoining texts of similar contents according to the 
ruler's names mentioned in them 36 . He dates the 
texts, beginning with J 552 as the oldest one, into 
the 4 th century B.C. - reference numbers (390)- 
(310) 37 . Only C 374 =J 551, as the last one of these 
texts, is dated much later - about (200) B.C. 38 . This 
common, early dating of all these inscriptions is 
only based on the supposed identity of the two 
rulers, Yada"il Bayyin and Sumuhu'all Yanuf, men- 
tioned in J 552 and the first two of the five rulers of 
J 557. 

The mentioned grammatical peculiarity, how- 
ever, gives me reason for critically questioning the 
historical arrangement of J 557 and the wall in- 
scriptions of the Mahram Bilqis at all. Already 
from a paleographical point of view, the traditional 
dating seems questionable (examples of the access- 
able inscriptions are given in the paleographic 
figure 2): the first inscription of this sequence, J 552, 
shows a clearly older ductus of its script than the 
other texts, and may be dated into the 4 century 
B.C. All other inscriptions, however, present — as 
far as we can see - a high paleographic homoge- 
nousness - including the quite late, about (200) 



32 According to Wissmann, Saba 351-354. 365ff. 

" We are not able to reconstruct the events in more detail. The 
fact that the Middle Sabaic language occurs (with less inten- 
sity, of course) in the Gawf not much later than in Marib 
suggests, however, that a part of the ^innovative* tribes of 
the highlands have settled in this area, too. 

34 Perhaps this process can in some way be compared with the 
>Landnahme< of the Israelites in Canaan. 

35 At the small photograph of this text published by W. D. 
Glanzman, PSAS 29, 1999, 84, the relevant passage is not 
readable; no other photo or facsimile of this inscription has 
been published so far. 

34 wissmann, Saba 353 ff. 

3 ' Cf. the table ibidem 355. 

" Cf. Wissmann, Sabaerreich 392 f. 



188 



Peter Stein 



B.C., dating C 374 =J 551 3 '. Considering the long 
space of about 200 years from the beginning of the 
construction works at the temple wall (J 552) until 
their completion (C 374 = J 551), the problem arises 
how to fill the historical gap occurring at some time 
within these two centuries. According to the tradi- 
tional interpretation and, as we have seen, contra- 
dicting the paleographic evidence, the construction 
works would have been interrupted for a whole cen- 
tury immediately before their completion - paradox- 
ically in a time which is characterized by a revival of 
the power and prosperity of the Sabaean kingdom. 
On the other hand, when we place the con- 
nected inscriptions of the 13 th layer of the temple 
wall (i. e. excluding J 552) tentatively at the end of 
the 4 th and the beginning of the 3 rd century B.C., 
we will come to some surprising conclusions 40 : 

1. The three rulers Yada"il Bayyin, Yakrubmalik 
Watar, and Yita"amar Bayyin mentioned in 
C 375 = J 550 (and before in J 555) occur in the 
same order in other inscriptions as »Kings of 
Saba'.'". 

2. The two references to »Kings of Marib« in J 557 
and C 37 come historically closer to each other 
and may be traced back to the same historical 
constellation: after the defeat inflicted upon the 
Sabaeans by Qataban, (and before by Ma'Tn), at 
the end of the 4 ,h century B.C., the political 
importance of Saba' declines down to the level 
of a small local power, which finds expression in 
the royal title »King of Marib« (J 557). After the 
rulers of the Central Yemeni Highlands - by 
taking advantage of the temporary weakness of 
Saba' - were able to take over royal power in 
this region adopting the title »King of Sum'ay« 
(C 37/1 .3) quite parallel to the » Kings of Marib«, 
the repeated advancement of Saba' at the begin- 
ning of the 3" 1 century B.C. quickly puts an end 
to this intermezzo 42 . 

3. The close paleographic connection of the texts 
concerned to the late dating C 374 = J 551 can 
best be explained by a continuity of the con- 
struction works on the temple wall, which were 
carried out non-stop under the kings from the 
end of the 4 th century B.C. until their comple- 
tion recorded in C 374= J 551 at the end of the 
3 rd century B.C. 

4. Also from an architectonical point of view it 
seems more probable to assume a larger tempo- 



ral break between the construction of the wall's 
door far below the 13 lh layer (J 552) and the rais- 
ing of the whole wall upwards from this layer. 

Even though not all historical problems occur- 
ring in this connection are solved by the present 



" Cf. the annexed palaeographic fig. 2 and, in addition, the 
sketches of the characters of some inscriptions by A. Jamme, 
Sabaean Inscriptions from Maliram Bilqis, Marib (1962) pL D. 

40 There are some palaeographic peculiarities supporting such 
a late dating. Especially the spread, in most cases .open- M 
and the sometimes elliptic W are typical indications for the 
palaeographic style IV by Wissmann, Sabaerreich 388, 
which he dates into the V i -l" i century B.C. 

41 Cf. the list by wissmann, Sabaerreich 390 ff. -The insertion 
of a king Damar'alt Yanuf bin Yakrubmalik Watar between 
the lastnamed two rulers (ibidem 392) according to F 70 is 
based on an emendation of A. Fakhry' s copy (mkrb > mlk, 
ibidem 331 n. 47; the copy obviously contains a number of 
errors). The inscription Robin-§irwah 2 (F. Bron in: 
Raydan 4 [1981] 30 with pi. 8 b), containing the same ruler's 
name as in F 70 (including filiation, but without title), might 
refer to the same direction due to palaeographical reasons 
(cf. especially the forms of R and M), the rough ductus, 
however, seems not to allow a certain decision. The two 
unaugmented infinitives in line 1 f. refer to an earlier period 
again, which thus is compatible with the title mkrb. Under 
these circumstances, I consider the argumentation of wiss- 
mann not convincing enough. - The added Karib'il Watar in 
the invocation of C 375 = J 550 might be identical with the 
father of Yada"il Bayyin, who is mentioned several times as 
king in the inscriptions (cf . Wissmann, Sabaerreich 389 {.). 
By the way, the nature of succession on the throne in the 
Sabaean kingdom in pre-Christian times is still unclear, cf. 
the summary by Robin op.cit. (see n. 28) I153f. The other 
rulers mentioned in J 555, and especially in J 557, are to be 
placed just before the ones we spoke about, that means at 
the end of the 4 th century. Consequendy, the historical 
events connected by synchronisms will shift accordingly, 
namely the war of the Sabaeans under the first three of the 
rulers mentioned in J 557 against Qataban, recorded in R 3858 
(cf. the palaeographic chart by Pirenne op. cit. [n. 15] tab. 5 
Qatabanite). This war culminated in a disastrous defeat of 
the Sabaeans (cf. Wissmann, Saba 351 ff.), which could be 
considered as cause of the decline of Saba' reflected, among 
other things, by the local tide »King of Marib* adopted by 
the rulers of the city in J 557. Also C 563+956, mentioning 
Yija"amar Watar bin Sumuhu'atl in line 1 without royal 
title, would have to shift accordingly. The two rulers 
Yada"il and Sumuhu'atl of C 955+418/5, however, are to 
be connected with the ones of the same names of J 552 (cf. 
the paleographic figures). 

" In C 37/7 already, Karib'il Watar is called .King of Saba", 
again, and litde later in R 4624, the son of the author of C 37 
is only an administrator of Sum'ay under the dominance of 
that -Karib'il, King of SabaV 



Linguistic Contributions to Sabaean Chronology 



189 



approach 43 , it, nevertheless, shows a considerable 
degree»of consistency. Consequently - in order to 
come back to the starting point of our reflections - 
we now can reconstruct a span of about one cen- 
tury for the shift from the Early to the Middle 
Sabaic period, in which features of both periods are 
found in the inscriptions. After this time, the typi- 
cal features of Early Sabaic do not occur any more, 
apart from a few marginal dialect areas which have 
not been subject to permanent Sabaean influence. 



Address: 

Dr. Peter Stein, Friedricb-Schiller-Universitatjena, 

Institut fur Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorde- 

ren Orients, Lobdergraben 24 a; D-07743 Jena, 

MultiStein@t-online.de 



43 Especially the absence of the well known king Karib'il 
Watar of (295) B.C. (cf. Wissmann, Sabaerreich 389 f.) from 
the list of rulers in J 555 causes difficulties in respect to our 
interpretation. For a possible solution of this problem, I 
propose another look at the already mentioned inscription 
C 37, which speaks of »Kings of Marib* {'mlk mryb) imme- 
diately beside that »Karib'il Watar, King of Saba'« (krb'l 
wtr mlk sb *). Apart from a chronological interpretation (the 
mentioned King of Saba' is the first of this kind after a pe- 
riod of local kings in Marib), it seems quite imaginable that 
the two different titles reflect a situation in which Karib'il 
Watar, the »King of Saba'*, reigns (possibly in §irwafr?) co- 
existing to the Local rulers of Marib until his successor 
Yada"il Bayyin finally takes over control of Marib, too. 
This interpretation might be supported by the fact that we 
do not have any inscription (apart from, perhaps, C 375 = 
J 550, cf. above n. 41) mentioning this Karib'il Watar from 
Marib, but rather from Sirwah (R 3951) and from the high- 
lands (C 37 and R 4626). Consequently, the list of J 555 
would reflect the transition from local rulers in Marib (the 
last of whom seems to be the Sumuhu'ali Yanuf mentioned 
in line 3; cf. also J 557) to rulers bearing the title »King of 
Saba'*, whose dynasty did not originate from Marib but 
rather gained power over the town from outside. 



190 Petex Stein 

(Peter Stein) 

Ui i> yJj—S j)»a j t ( tf ) J til JmjII Sbl j . (tf) J £ j*JI i-ijs. *jl£j 4 ^jjjll fliJlS) St^Jl <ilB Jelji 4 jjUl 

Uua^n uuij ^j sjj»j« i-yjj '<ium <^J iiiu* cuts *Aj fi-j J UjS-y (ji.iuB Lijj^j i £ j £ tP i J 

lA— ? UJ* U L «> cJji) Ul l*A» ' JV J4 i&5» Uj a ) ^J 2 L^J 1 i> *Jj Oj« J*i JjU 'J* «i^ 

.c^wuiVi (>• s jii j^ 3 jJj i «B l^jji U- 3£1*« <ji i 'i^h'iJ ^ JS cUjB dl j ^ . (Hermann von Wissmann) 
(»VU*/<3Jc)"^"^" i^ 1 H* 111 JL-iJ j » (*ilW fJ^U -*3 fl Jli-S Uh- i>i) ''■>&* '<*& *il> 



Paul Yule 



TOWARD A RECONSTRUCTION OF ANCIENT ZAFAR 



Introduction and State of Research 

Prior to beginning my paper, on two counts I must 
excuse myself: first for intruding on the »Rencon- 
tres sabeennes*, for I represent not the interests of 
the Sabaeans, but rather blatently those of their 
successors, namely those of the Himyarite tribes. 
Second, our team has conducted but two field cam- 
paigns, both of mapping, and a single one of exca- 
vation. Although these were conducted with modest 
budgets compared to those of their cousins in the 
Near East, they did produce some interesting his- 
torical results. With regard to the topic of this 
meeting, it might also be observed that from the 
Himyarite vantage point, the chronological nomen- 
clature developed for Marib and for the Old South 
Arabian script are ill-suited for the history of 
Zafar, owing to its late relative dating. 

It is difficult to contribute substantially to a 
clarification of the chronological termini of Old 
South Arabia, since at this stage of our work few 
new relevant texts and no H C assays are available in 
context. On the other hand, important building 
structures in this rupestrian 110 ha [900 x 1200 m] 
centre have come to light, which require or even 
demand dating. This paradox could be reduced in 
size by means of investigation in the area locally 
known as al-Jawkh, which, in addition to the Husn 
Raydan, I propose to be the main area of the 
Raydan palace for reasons which I shall state 
below. 

Many or even most building remains at Zafar 
appear to date largely to the latter stages of its 
history, that means to a time, at the very earliest, 
from the 1" century A.D. when Himyarite kings 
adopt the title »ruler of Saba' and Dhu-Raydan«. 
But the few chronological references which are 



available, point to a yet later dating for the building 
ruins extant on the site, that is from the 3 rd century 
A.D.: Why? On the one hand, the few examples of 
high quality stone masonry seem to predate the 3" 1 
century A.D. But on the other, politically, eco- 
nomically, and rnilitarily, Himyar comes to frui- 
tion in the latter part of the 3 rd century. And one 
expects major building programmes in this wealthy 
250 year period - a time, politically and architec- 
turally speaking, when its competitors had eclipsed. 

In this communication I shall comment very 
tersely on the state of research, the chronology of 
the masonry, adumbrate the topography of Zafar, 
show selected contexts, as well as highlight our 
work in the site museum. 

In the 10 th century A.D. (280-360 H) in al-Iklll, 
al-Hamdani's naming of Zafar' s nine Pre-Islamic 
city gates conditions helps vaguely but importantly 
our understanding of its cityscape. But the location 
and nature of key building complexes - the famed 
Raydan Palace and its kinsmen — remain elusive in 
his brief description. 

Zafar has escaped the view of more recent 
westerners. One of the few in the area was the 
father of all travellers in Arabia. The German 
Carsten Niebuhr, in the service of the king of 
Denmark, was in YarTm from the 5 to the 12 of 
July 1763. With little trouble we located the group 
of houses which he reproduced in his »Reise- 
beschreibung« in Yarim qadim (Fig. 1 and 2). But 



Sources of illustrations: Fig. 1: C. Niebuhr, Beschreibung von 
Arabien (1772). - Figs. 2-5: Author. 

Much of the original text has been shortened and is included in 
the preliminary reports which are in press. Therein 1 thank my 
colleagues and cite my sources. 



L92 



Paui Vi j i 




Proipeci ,/.-.• t ./. tcls u/ui eutesT'heUs der Stadllerim 
I i_ 1 Rendering "I Varlm b) < arsten Niebuhr 1763 




'i |adli 



ill .in«l < n i upicd ■■'. nil i he 'I' .ii li "I In 1 , colli i 'ii. 
Petci Forskil there, he did noi go to /.il.n, which 
ai ,i stifl pat e is pi tssibli in (' i houi s | Niehuht 
Ins 2 1 / 1 dcuisi he Mcili ■■ ), .is I can attest to by 



means ol .i practical attempt I Ik- mayoi "I Yarim 
assured NuImiIh that insci iptions from Zafai could 
be read neithei bj |ews not b) Muslims, which 
must Ii.k i tempted him 



Toward a Rbconstrui noN <>h Ancient Zafar 



193 




Fig. 3 Centre-left: the present-day town Zafar, centre: the Husn Ravd 



A few philologists, such as Ulrich Jasper Seetzen, 
managed subsequently to visit Zafar in the 19' and 
20' centuries, but provide no information about 
its appearance. In the 1880s the Austrian Eduard 
Glaser described what he called the »east gate« at 
Zafar 1 . This is a, » . . .regular chausee flanked with 
well-preserved walls*. Glaser's »chausee« lies actu- 
ally probably in Zafar south - not »east«. Flanking 
walls are long since missing. 

Some 100 years later, archaeologists still have 
made no headway in more accurately characteriz- 
ing the appearance of the ancient city because by 
this time stone robbing had already taken its toll. 
In part this is confirmed by photos taken in 1969 
and published in 1970 by G. Garbinr. In the 1980s 
and earlv 90s, R. Tindel describes the city as a ruin 
without any complete structures, a view which I 
should like to emend here . 

On the basis of village colloquial usage, distin- 
guishable are four areas in the ruins. What we call 
Zafar South includes the areas locally known as 
Zafar, al-Hayfah, and al-'Uwar. The centre moun- 
tain is the Husn Raydan, with overlapping areas to 
the south known as 'ard Raydan, and al-Jawkh. 
Raydan North includes the mountain known as 



al-Qasr. A fourth area, to the east of Zafar village, 
goes by the name of al-'Asabl. Mapping took 
place in 1998, 2000 and 2002. Seen from the neigh- 
bouring J. Hadaman, one has a fine view of the 
entire settlement complex (Fig. 3). It brings to mind 
N. Nebes's recently reported Himyarite inscrip- 
tion from the J. al-'Awd (DAI Gabal al-'Awd I, 
time of Dhamar'all of Raydan) which deals with 
spying in the town Maswalum on the J. Hadaman*. 



Toward a Reconstruction 

We can surmise the positions of the nine citv gates 
which al-Hamdani mentioned for Zafar. A recon- 
struction of the city wall is in itself vexed, owing to 

1 H. v, Wissm.inn, Zur Geschichte und L.indtvkundc von 

Alt-Stidarabien, in: Sammlung Eduard Glaser 111. SB \\ ien 

246, 1964, :si I 
: G. Garbini, Anucbha jremeniie, MON ^^ :o, 1970, 

pi. 33 a-b (Zafar al Ha\ tali and Husn Raydan I, 34 .i (Hu>n 

Raydai 'a-b (noi local 

1 R. Tindel, Zafar, in: Oxford Encyclopedia "l Archaeolog) 

in tin 1861 

' Lecture in MunKh 31.06.2000. 



144 



I'm L YULI 




Fig. 4 Present-day and antique main entrance t" Zafar 
(zl90), destroyed in Februarj :::4 



the fact ih.it less than 2"A, of it has sunned the 
stone robber. The main antique gate appears to be 
the present-day access to Zafar. The cobblestones 
seem to be or antique date. In the main held in 
Zafar South/al-'Uwar the negative growth charac- 
teristics of the grain reveal the presence of part 
of the southern cit) gate complex, which neither 
can be easily dated nor graphicall) reconstructed. 
There are grounds to assume that Z.il.u's majoi en 
trance complex was loud, I in Zafar South (Fig. 4). 
Gates seem to have faced the north east neai will 
7.183, to the south wi si ib, the south 

south east toward Bayl al-Ashwal, .iiul the north 
north east into the Wadi Zafar. 

' lati remains also seem n • ognizable between 
'1 Qasi and the Husn Raydan in the saddle 

between the two volcanit n ains Hiddc 

]\ . i ill d . I. an n ills v. In, 1,1.,,, ni irth east ■' 
south west common at Zafai Thchcavj accumu 

lati) IP "1 i ul, hie on both side | n issihll 

gate opening in two directions Bui these ruins 

may .if, rrcspond to the positions <>l the castle 

in lli, i,< ,i l hci ii w .ill , ,1 I lusn K,i\ <\,\n, 

ol ihr 4 , iiinii v impoi inn monothcisi kin ; 
M.ihkk.ini. luh.r , II 110 A.U I 



Hargab of Shurakbi'il Va'fur (440-458 A.D.) 
which would put the topograph) on a certain basis 
if we were to excavate them. 

Two fragmentary stone structures seem to be 
hinyj 01 fortification towers. Since the surround- 
ing fortifications ate difficult to understand in 
terms ol their form, their lunction also remains 
problematic. The identification of one of them 
(Iig. 5 1 as a dam can he queried''. This explanation 
seems unlikely (assuming it was not altered in the 
laic antique or medieval period) since no great 
amount ol water enters the catchment area to the 
east, and the presumed dam- is loo overbuilt lor 
the dut) it would have to lulhl. It also leaves open 
the question ol the chronology and function of the 

subsurface remains. Perhaps this barrier in facl is a 
catchmenl wall combined with a fortification 



Investigation 01 ' 

The robbing of tombs and graves, which continues 
occasionally at /.alar, impelled us to investigate the 
cemeteries ol inhabitants presumabb of average 
status income at the loot ol al-'Asabl in the Wadi 
Zafar. Tombs arc visible b) means ot the entrance 
shafts which robbers reopened and from the tun- 
nels they left behind. The tombs also suffered from 
the elicits ot the erosion in I he steep slope over the 
, entui ies It was hoped that some might still he in- 
tact, as opposed to tin rock-cut tombs ot notables, 
which inevitably centuries -m" fell pre) to 

clastic vandals mk\ gr.nc robbers. 

Graves mk\ burial chambers open to the north 
or had a vertical access Complete skeletons are 
rate, and common aic fragmentary partial skele 
tons in disturbed contexts. Questions ot a histori 
,al nature impelled investigation: 1 specialh in the 
'ni A I* llumai was caught up in politi- 
cal religious turmoil rhe converging beliefs must 
h.ne influenced the burial customs As yel there is 
on to believe that out sample ot this ceme 

icm covers thi c i chronological spectrum ot 

Zafar, hut t>, judge from the finds, rather lies in the 
p, ilvthci ' 



■ ,1, 1 1, o thii palai , ii 

Id, ,, . ,1 I, . ,n. ,,,. ,>i din ins, i ipiion 
w H „l, \ \ r> i ' 'I fig II 



Toward a Reconstruction of Am ism Zafar 



195 




Fie. 5 Fortification zl79 in Zafar South/al-'Uv 



Area of the Raydan Palace 

We move now to al-Jawkh, at the foot of the Husn 
Raydan. Large chambers carved out of the obdu- 
rate bedrock cluster at the south-western foot of 
the Husn Raydan. These include a 15 m long tomb 
of the polytheistic age and an antique subterranean 
cistern some 4.5 m in height. In addition, a subter- 
ranean chamber is cut beneath the present-day 
mosque there. During the rainy season the cham- 
ber below contains clean water some 1.6 m in 
depth. Water chambers such as this (assuming it 
was built to contain water) are, as far as 1 know, 
unknown in mosques. A Christian baptistry or a 
Jewish mikveh come to mind, but this need not be 
cither. But it is similar in its form to rare known 
baptistries or mikvehs'. Moreover, baptism derives 
from a large sphere of antique washings and rites of 
passage in the orient with roof, reaching further 
into the past". The structure's walls are smooth, the 



floor level. This kind of carving seems to me to 
predate the 2 centurv A.D. The question arises 
whether it can be linked to polytheistic, Jewish, or 
Christian cult activities. 

Since this feature lies in the area of the most 
extensive Himvarite building acth itv. including the 
cistern, the large tomb, heavy walls, and numerous 
foundation trenches, it seems an ideal candidate for 
an identification with part of the Raydan palace. 



P. Yule, Mapping Himyarile Zafar, n Leaving no Scones 
Unturned: Essays on the Ancienl Near East and Egypl in 

1 1 t Donald 1' Hansen (2002)321] I' Yule(ed 

Capital ol Hum tr. Ibb Province, Yemen I nsi Preliminar) 

Kcpmi 1998 and 2000 (in pn 

I N.Meyers \ I ECraabel I i Strange, Ancient Syna- 

mS .11 khlrlx'l 

Kl l\ \ 2 (1932 2501 f. s.v.1 iuf< I 1 



196 



Paul Yule 



The Site Museum 

A final category of finds are sculpture. On arrival 
in 1998 we were alarmed to note that the floor 
of the museum magazine was covered in places 
with stone reliefs and inscriptions to a depth of 
over 1 m. These form the lion's share of a valuable 
museum collection. The existing shelves in the 
magazine were found to be poorly assembled, and 
collapsed having been loaded shortly following 
their erection some years ago. 

With the daily support of our Yemeni col- 
leagues, the team registered the different kinds of 
stone reliefs. Such comprise inscriptions, ural, 
phyllomorphic, >ornamental<, and so-called archi- 



tectural groups. Given the large number of arte- 
facts, it was necessary to sort them on the floor of 
the entire museum, prior to their reshelving. 

1 000 of the most important artefacts were photo- 
graphed, registered, and are in the process of being 
catalogued. The photos of the finds have been re- 
corded on CD and copies presented to our Yemeni 
colleagues. The sculpture included inscriptions and 
ural motives of local and exotic origin. 

Address: 

PD Dr. Paul Yule, Institut fur Vr- und Friih- 
geschichte und Vorderasiatische Archaologie, Uni- 
versity Heidelberg, Marstallhof 4, D-69U7 Hei- 
delberg, paul.yule@t-online.de 



Tovard a Reconstruction of Ancient Zafar 197 

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(Paul Yule) 



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